Send election observers now

election_observers2With senior Zanu (PF) officials beating the drums of war, it is increasingly obvious that the holding of presidential and general elections next year would be a futile exercise. (Pictured: SADC election observers)

Zanu (PF) says it will not recognise the results if the MDC wins. Soldiers have been deployed in the rural areas to force villagers to vote for Zanu (PF). Some headmen and village heads have started fining MDC officials for putting up posters or attending MDC meetings.

Some war vets and other miscellaneous thugs have threatened to kill MDC activists if they should dare to campaign in rural areas. The police, as expected, sit and do nothing about this actual and threatened political violence.

In fact, some cops have been accused of involvement in using rape of women activists as a weapon of war against the MDC.

The public broadcaster, ZBC and ZTV, continuously spreads Zanu (PF) propaganda and deliberately indulges in hate speech against the MDC including vilifying the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The public print media is constantly abused by Zanu (PF) into devoting yards and yards of column inches to anti-MDC rhetoric. This does not create a conducive atmosphere in which to hold free and fair elections.

All these actions are in violation of the SADC norms on elections, which call for a levelling of the playing field. Zimbabwe has already failed to meet SADCs own requirements long before election day. Always in the past, election violence in Zimbabwe has taken place long before polling day. The day itself is usually very peaceful.

If SADC is at all interested in seeing free and fair elections, which will not be contested in the courts, the time to send their observers to Zimbabwe is now. Coming to observe a few weeks before polling day is pointless.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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