No repeat of 2008

It must have been galling for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to appeal to the international community in London this week to ensure that the forthcoming elections in our country are free and fair.

It is unfortunate that we have been forced to seek outside help to re-establish our sovereignty – stolen from us by those who liberated us. This complex situation no doubt baffles the West and it is humiliating in the extreme to have to wash our dirty linen in public. But the actions of our former liberators leave us no choice. And we endorse Tsvangirai’s message.

It is absolutely vital that the results of the forthcoming elections are acceptable to the majority of Zimbabweans. We do not want to see a repetition of the 2008 fiasco – when there is no doubt that there was cheating on an industrial scale.

Many voters were disenfranchised. There were thousands of ghost voters on the roll. There was large scale intimidation of voters. Some 200 people were killed. Thousands of people suspected of supporting the MDC were kidnapped, raped, tortured or severely beaten.

The organisations tasked with running the elections discredited themselves by withholding the results of the presidential poll for weeks. This led to the accusation that they were busy doctoring the figures. Likewise, regional leaders discredited themselves by forcing the MDC into a coalition with Zanu (PF) and then failing to ensure that power was properly shared.

The main problem is that there is a revolving door between Zanu (PF), the military and the institutions responsible for administering elections. General Douglas Nyikayaramba is a case in point. During the last elections we were assured that, then a brigadier, he had retired from the army in order to take up a new post as the head of the electoral commission’s secretariat.

After the elections, surprise surprise! He reappeared seamlessly in the ZNA as the Commander of 3 Brigade in Mutare and has since been promoted to the rank of general.

As for the Voters’ Roll – everyone apart from the Registrar General TobaiwaMudede accepts that it is a complete shambles. No election result reflecting the actual will of the people can possibly emerge from any poll using this highly discredited roll as a basis for identifying legitimate voters.

Mudede’s assertion that there are 100,000 people over 100 years old, in a country where average life expectancy is less than 50, is stretching the imagination to breaking point. We therefore have to put our pride aside and beg for impartial election observers to monitor the next election for us.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
  1. Wilbert Mukori

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