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'There is room to improve conduct of elections' says ZCC – were rigged but will never admit, what a waste

03 Apr 2022 at 10:26hrs | Views
In 2018 the EU Election Observer Mission stated in its final report that "the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability.

"As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards," conclude the report.

We did not get a clear and crisp report from SADC or AU much less from our own local election observers. If they enumerate the shortcomings the elections process, that is about the best you can expect. Any judgement on the process is always wishy-washy, they will call for future improvements without ever condemning the present!

"The Church noted that the political playing field remained unequal for political parties. Frequent suppression of some opposition parties was observed during the pre-election period. The Church is concerned about this selective application of the law as it undermines confidence in Law Enforcement Institutions," stated the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) report on conduct of 26 March by-elections.

"Some opposition political parties faced challenges in holding their campaign rallies across the country, as the police would either deny their applications or accept them with stiff restrictions or conditions, which would not apply to other political parties."

ZCC report even went so far as to give examples of the flaws and illegalities; ZEC's failure to address voters' roll errors and changes; the assault of CCC party agent in Kwekwe; the 21 youths who assisted voters in Chipinge; etc.

"Despite acknowledging positive strides made by ZEC in areas such as voter registration and gender sensitivity, ZCC said there is still room for improvement in the areas of voters' roll management, polling station accessibility by PWDs and elderly voters," concluded Voice Of America (VOA)!

So, the ZCC report does not say anything on the key issue – was the by-election free, fair and credible!
Everyone else who observed the by elections and is serious about end Zimbabwe's number one curse of rigged elections and bad governance, rightly condemned the by elections for the blatant cheating and wanton violence. The by elections was a dress rehearsal of the 2023 nationwide harmonised elections and the certainty of yet another rigged election is most disheartening. And rightly so too, because as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state governed by corrupt and vote rigging thugs the economic meltdown and the tragic human misery it has caused will only get worse.

So, what is the point, one must ask, of having election observers like ZCC if they will never say whether the elections are free, fair, and credible? Is it because they don't know what constitute free, fair, and credible elections or they are scared stiff to make the judgement call?

After a life-time of being denied a meaningful say in the governance of the country; first by the white colonialists and for the last 42 years by their on black leaders (the Zanu PF thugs, supposedly the liberation heroes, now working in cahoots with the corrupt opposition, elected to implement the reforms to stop the vote rigging); it is disheartening to know the wait for Zimbabwe's first free and fair elections is far from over! Whilst the masses wait for their first free vote, they continue to languish is abject poverty, despair, and hopelessness.

Every thinking Zimbabwean must hang his/her head in shame that after 42 years of independence; Zimbabwe is still failing to hold free, fair, and credible elections. With all the benefit of human history; we are, nonetheless, still failing to get our foot on the first rung of the democratic ladder.

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