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Did Zimbabwe learn anything from SA?

THERE was an independent election commission to run the South African election.

The voter registration process was carried out in a transparent manner. Although t

here were scenes of violence the police acted on perpetrators regardless of their political party affiliations – ANC, IFP or DA.

All parties could access the voters and the voters’ roll. All could even check their names on the Internet to see if they were registered. Citizens outside South Africa could freely cast their vote.

Listen then to President Thabo Mbeki’s inauguration speech. He talked about a united South Africa – “a place in which to be born black was to inherit a life-long curse – to be white was to carry a permanent burden of fear and hidden rage”.

There are, according to him, no puppets, no sell-outs, no colour, no tribe and no sex, but a whole South Africa.

There was Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Tony Leon, FW de Klerk and others. Never did he mention ANC, DA or IFP. He talked about South Africa for all South Africans. What a blessed people South Africans are!

As I drove home listening to the Studio 7 of VOA after hearing such great words I turned my cassette and was brought back home by Hodho, (sorry Zanu PF, Leonard Zhakata may have had different views when he sang it).

Then came Warrior which went: “They tie my hands and ask me to fight them, they tie my legs and ask me to run a race, they beat me before entering the ring and when I lose they spite me saying he called himself a champion, see what has happened to him.”

This is Zimbabwe, the land of milk and honey, blood and thunder, hunger and agony, race hate and private xenophobia.

Let us turn to our own, the hell called Zimbabwe. All national events have been “Zanunised” from 1980. Whoever is not Zanu PF is a sell-out, a puppet. Election time is time for Zanu PF youths to pummel people under the watchful eye of the police. They can even force you to eat your faeces and drink your urine before the police take over and force you to pay a fine for violent behaviour.

With police blessings, they deny the opposition access to some areas. Now that urban houses and stands are going to be provided through Zanu PF and not councils, food for the rural hungry distributed via Zanu PF structures, chiefs getting golden handshakes, militias given free reign and Mbeki saying the Zimbabwean elections are administratively done wrongly but legitimate, we are in trouble.

Sadc knows that elections in Zimbabwe do not meet any single rule of their norms and standards but stand by their man. They know Kondozi workers are sleeping in the open, exposed to the vagaries of this harsh weather.

They will address rallies openly telling people to shun violence, but behind the scenes create fertile ground for the militia, the army and the police to deal ruthlesly with the opposition. They will move around with all the ZBC cameras and reporters leaving nothing to the opposition.

They will tell the people of Chitubu that MDC failed to build toilets, MDC could not erect communication lines in Lupane, MDC could not bring electricity into rural areas, and that MDC left them starving.

They will not tell them that for 20 years Zanu PF did not build them toilets and could not put up transmitters in their areas; Zanu PF failed to build clinics. If it was not for donor agencies they would have starved to death as they left MDC maize to rot at Beitbridge border post.

Vasingaite Mhezi,


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