Our Position on the Call for Elections in Zimbabwe – PYD

electionPlatform for Youth Development (PYD) is concerned by the acceleration of the voices speaking in favor of holding an election in Zimbabwe. This talk is frightening and nerve-racking because it is not anchored on genuine and a watchful consideration of the consequences.

PYDs entry point is neither to deny nor to call for these elections but to raise a serious alarm- that -merely calling for these elections without reforms is not only dangerous but suicidal.

PYD is fully aware that the Inclusive Government constitutionally expires after 2 years, which is February 2011.We acknowledge that, this is the strongest point for those who are advocating for elections to be held any time soon. The assumption being that election should be culturally held when due, and also that we can salvage a stop to the ZANU PFs big brother mentality through an election process. More over, the parties involved are equally no longer happy with their explosive marriage.

President of ZANU PF and the Inclusive Government-Robert Mugabe has already spoken his mind that elections must be held not later than June 2011.PYD having been a recipient of the June 2008 political violence at the instigation of President Mugabes party, donot read this call independent of the possibility of a repeat of this era of Zimbabwes dark page of history. The month of June remains predestined, and PYD fears the impact of this horror-month on the psyche of the voters.

Shockingly, President of the MDC T and Prime Minister of the Inclusive Government -Morgan Tsvangirai insists that his MDC is ready to have elections any day that they are called. This position has repeatedly been made by Nelson Chamisa who is the spokesperson of his party. Being aware that the MDC ended up pulling out of the Presidential Run Off of June 2008, serious questions beg for answers for their sincerity.PYD is aware that there is very little happening on the ground for MDC to take this brave stance.

PYD now questions, is Zimbabwe ready to have these elections? Is the nation resourced enough to finance these elections? Is the administration of the election (ZEC) ready? In short, do Zimbabweans feel that they are ready for these elections as championed by our political leadership? A general survey from PYD membership concludes that unless some serious reforms are effected, Zimbabwe will continue to make headlines for the wrong reasons.

In Chipinge and Chimanimani, the COPAC project has almost failed since the collected views are heavily compromised. In a similar fashion to the June 2008, the two districts topped the records of violence against innocent communities and democratic processes. Active groups of well organized youths are evidently roaming in the communities ready to pounce on behalf of the forces of evil. Calling for elections without addressing these threats to peaceful elections will be a mistake difficult to resolve.

Recently at Mai Musodzi Hall in Harare, a life was claimed in the jostle to control the output of the constitution. Psychologically the ZANU PF strategies for a violent election are being boosted at local level. If one kills to defend a view at the constitution indaba, what more when it involves their revolutionary mandate against purported imperialists. Zimbabweans need to smell the coffee.

If given our way, the most ideal environment to hold elections is only when a genuine constitutional reform has been concluded.PYD notes that the current constitutional reform has failed by excluding the youth at every level, therefore it is their moral right to reject it once it is brought to a referendum. Only until the environment to hold favorable elections is in place, can it be meaningful for the youths to participate with splendor.

Way Forward

Youth Organizations should have an all stakeholders conference to demand meaningful reforms first before an election .Our political leadership are already speaking with the youth in mind who will carry out grisly and barbaric acts of violence on behalf of their leadership. The youths should refuse to be used by speaking with one voice.

The parties in the inclusive government must publicly convince us that they are genuine in their call for elections by actively budgeting and resourcing the election process .Before election dates the following things must be in order-Voter education, Voter Registration, Voters Roll and International Observers.

Political parties must from day one denounce political violence and stop grandstanding.

The civic society (inclusive of the Youth Organizations) must not yield to politicians who are grandstanding to push Zimbabwe into a bloody election.

Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) is a non-partisan, non-discriminatory and grassroots based youth organization that was formed by victimized youth to act as a platform, network and bridge for the youth in all spheres of life to articulate issues affecting them particularly relating to development, democracy, good governance, peaceful co-existence, human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. PYD therefore seeks to bring together marginalized youth in rural and urban areas, farms, growth points and resettlement areas, church-based youth organizations including youth organizations for young women with a view to empowering them and to ensure their meaningful participation in championing the cause of democracy, respect for the rule of law, peaceful co-existence and good governance.

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