ZEC: A menace tormenting Zimbabwe

ZEC: A menace tormenting Zimbabwe
Published: 17 July 2018 (305 Views)
It has become a norm that every election in Zimbabwe is mired by a series of despicable irregularities cooked by the same body which is mandatory for presiding over elections. For so long, ZEC refused to uphold principles of fair play each time the nation goes for plebiscite. Instead of displaying neutrality as a referee in the playing field  ZEC sides with the governing party at every turn, as such it has triggered tremendous acrimony in our body politic.

The tale of quagmire between the opposition and the electoral body has invaded the newsrooms run up to July 30 polls, and we want to explore if  the sphere of this problem is no different from that of the past.

MDC-Alliance is at loggerheads with ZEC on all processes that lead to voting and these include voters' roll, ballot paper procurement, designing, printing, storage and distribution as well as postal voting. On the issue of voters' roll, ZEC gave political parties a non BRV roll, the one which they released bears identity and address of the voter, photos are exceptional. This did not go down well with opposition parties and other civic groups as their hope was that the 2018 voters' roll must have features captured in the BRV exercise. Conversely, that was not the case as ZEC provided a traditional voters' roll without any images, it maintained that the BRV roll was not provided for in the constitution of this country therefore a voters' roll that bears images prejudice the rights of voters. It is not known how true is this view as ZEC itself has a tainted history of winning and dining with Zanu-PF to steal votes in favour of the ruling party. In my view, there are two main reasons that coerced ZEC to undertake that decision: 1. The contemptuous voters' roll released is too porous such that ZEC will have avenues to rig the election, 2. ZEC has an authentic BVR hidden in their shelves hence it is testing the waters if the opposition accedes to the old one or not.

With regards to the aforesaid scenarios, despite dispelling rumours that of cheating ZEC arrogance become a matter of great concern because the BVR is in its shelves therefore it must be released. Failure to do so constitutes to a farce election of which many anticipate that the coming election should be a success given that the new dispensation pledged for a free, fair and credible election. The current regime's pledge is fast fading as the electoral body so far revamped the trite electoral systems of Robert Mugabe time in which the voters roll become the centre of rigging. Once again the same thing is at the centre of horrendous standoff between MDC Alliance and ZEC.

WHY VOTERS ROLL?

What is the secret behind the voters roll amid concerns that there are disparaging anomalies bigotry of fair play. In it, noticeable fake addresses, multiple registration, omission of registered voters, among a plethora of others. This, if left unchecked, prompts hullabaloo as chances are that, come elections, most probably a stampede of multiple voting is likely especially in the ruling party strongholds whereas in opposition strongholds a high number of voters may be turned away as some of their names will not appear on the voters' roll. It is alleged that known opposition stalwarts are most likely to miss their names on the voters' roll and such will aid the chances of wining for Zanu-PF.

More so, the secrecy on the ballot paper processes ignite upheavals as ZEC adamance on refusal to embrace an inclusive approach angered the opposition. Almost all the parties vying for the upcoming plebiscite are yearning for inclusivity on ballot procurement, designing, printing, storage and distribution in order to enhance credibility of the outcome. That was the position of MDC alliance from the onset, but ZEC and Zanu-PF has rubbished it as unconstitutional. But the constitutionality of ZEC actions do not satisfy the generality of voters themselves because the exclusive part of the law is ignored. The reality is that the supreme law of this country embraces social justice, fairness and transparency which is what the parties push for.

In the piece of legislation, ZEC is mandated to preside over national elections that of rural and urban councils, members of parliament and president but we were very fret to note that voting took place at Ross police camp without its presence, and much worse ZEC defended police actions as constitutional. If the law gave omissions on postal voters, fine, but however on the part of transparency, is that acceptable? By the way elections alike a football match were competing teams face off for a certain reward (endowment), but the success or failure of the teams is judged by the referee, which in this case is ZEC, so if it allows the match to kick start in their absence, who then shall officiate? Who shall declare the winner?

Justice Priscilla Chigumba and her ZEC crew should pull up their socks and live up to their billing if they voluntarily want to serve their nation. Time to play mind games is over unless they are pushing for chaos in this country then we shall see who wins or loses. But the obvious and ineluctable thing is that the will of the majority will prevail whether we like it or not.

History taught us that R.G Mugabe held hostage ZEC and the command elements for years, they worked against the will of the majority. They killed, maimed, persecuted, abducted and raped opposition supporters but now the tables were turned, he and cabal are now victims of the vitriolic systems they manufactured. And again, we are not surprised to note that the future of Mugabe and cabal lies in the hands of his hostages. Such is the complexities of life, so ZEC must take of leaf.

Further, we are tired of ZEC engineered leaders and this time we are going to fix crisis of legitimacy through delivering free, fair and credible election. If the current commissioners have no guts to deliver then they should do the good thing to quit. Of late some commissioners quit after presiding over farce elections, however it does not work to mess first and then quit, the best is to quit now in order to save the nation from borrowed chaos.

To the international observers, we need to remind them that ZEC has become a menace tormenting Zimbabwe as many a time, it produces fake results that favours the governing party. That was the major reason why Justice Rita Makarau quits after the demise of her boss, she gave way for the incumbent's own darling to take over. Hence if this system faces no challenge it will be precedent setting such that the Chamisas of our time may copy and paste.

To conclude, leaders should come from the people not from electoral bodies through manipulations. This habit manifesting from ZEC has to be stopped forthwith for the purposes of embracing and pacifying a degenerating democratisation in Zimbabwe. Now is the time to obliterate this cancer and define our future, our destiny.

- Benny Gudo

Tags: ZEC, MDCAlliance, BVR,
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