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NERA: Much ado about nothing

13 Sep 2016 at 13:38hrs | Views
There are a number of genuine challenges that Zimbabwe has to grapple with and this requires serious dedication of time and effort. However, sometimes fate intervenes amidst serious introspection in the form of comic respite, especially since a perpetually serious face is said to age way before its time. But then, serious business first and comedy later.

The calls by National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) for SADC intervention in Zimbabwe, ostensibly out of contrived fear of imminent bloodshed in the country is but a figment of the opposition and its inclined private media that stand benefit by promoting alarm and despondency in the country. It is quite interesting that this cacophony of discord seems to grow whenever a major global event beckons, such as the UN General Assembly, for the simple reason that the country's haters would like to keep it under the spotlight of concocted crises.

Zimbabwe has consistently held monitored and supervised elections that have been endorsed by progressive regional and international bodies except the western usual suspects. The 2013 elections, just as previous ones, have always conformed to protocols on free and fairness of elections, which explains why the African Union and SADC observer missions led by former Nigerian premier, Olusegun Obasanjo and Tanzanian Foreign Affairs minister, Bernard Membe respectively endorsed the elections. African leaders with indigenous ancestry congratulated President Mugabe for his resounding victory, save for Botswana bachelor president, Ian Khama. There seems to be a naive belief within the opposition and NGO circles that, as the bloc's immediate past chairman with advance-stage plans to host USA AFRICOM base at Thebephatshwa military base in that country, he may exert influence. This gimmick, just as the last one in Swaziland, will not fool anyone and shall be dismissed with the contempt that it merits

Now that the opposition charade has been dispensed with, the comedy beckons. ZANU PF has been calling for electoral reform to ensure that opposition political parties operate responsibly and are not seized with merely opposing government policy for the sake of disparage. That is progressive by any standards. On the other hand, the local opposition under the ambit of (NERA) has a raft of reforms it wants implemented, chief among which is the weeding out of alleged CIO operatives within the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). This was highlighted recently by one Joseph Ngarivhume of a nondescript Transform Zimbabwe during a meeting ZEC held with political parties in Zimbabwe. Ngarivhume also raised concern over participation in that meeting of a political party he called OK Mart when it was a party with acronym MAAT.

This fella is the same person who raised hullaballoo over a purported botched CIO abduction at his house of which he was the target but was conveniently away at the time. His conviction that the alleged abductors were CIO operatives hinged on strong evidence he proffered, not to the police for he never made any report but to the gullible and abetting private newspapers and social media, that they were clad in their traditional black suits and driving a twin cab truck. Finish! That's the evidence and, God forbid, if anyone will be spared being labelled a secret agent on account of the number of black suits that people possess.

Another issue entailed the authenticity of political parties that met the commission's chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau. Regrettably, the jonnie-come lates have ascribed themselves the exclusive right of determining opposition legitimacy, inconsequential to the fact that other parties have trudged the same path prior. To Ngarivhume, PUMA has no brief in local politics because it is a sportswear manufacturer that competes with Adida's. However, those are acronyms of a Matabeleland opposition political party whose members would not take kindly to trivialisation by whomever.    

For avoidance of doubt, there is a long list of opposition political parties, some of whom have been in hibernation since the day they were formed, of which Ngarivhume and his ilk may be unaware by virtue of being greenhorns in this game of politics. The list is being magnanimously provided not to burden readers but rather as a way of enlightening those labouring under thick, weighty plumes of ignorance.

The parties include Zimbabwe First Party, Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai, Movement for Democratic Change – Ncube, International Socialist Organisation, National Alliance for Good Governance, Patriotic Union of MaNdebeleland, United Parties, United People's Party, Zimbabwe African National Union – Ndonga, Zimbabwe African People's Union – Federal Party, Zimbabwe People's Democratic Party, Riseup Zimbabwe Freedom Party, Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance, Liberal Democrats (Zimbabwe), Zimbabwe National Democratic Party, Freedom Justice Coalition Zimbabwe Party, Movement for People First, Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment, Forum Party, Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) and Zimbabwe United People's Organisation.

Considering that registration of political parties is not the brief of ZEC, I am yet to be convinced that Ngarivhume and NERA clowns deserve entertainment.

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Sambulo Vuma <samvumindaba@gmail.com

Source - Sambulo Vuma
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