Moyo is right, this is daylight robbery

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Obadiah Msindo claims the “hand of God” rigged the general elections in favour of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to “fight homosexuality”.

By The MuckRaker

“This election result shocked everybody, even Mugabe himself was shocked, which is a clear demonstration that the divine hand of the Almighty God was at work,” Msindo told NewsDay.

“I agree with Tsvangirai that the elections were rigged, but rigged by whom? By the Almighty God against him because of his stance on homosexuality.”

Much like Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona’s “hand of god” goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, Zanu PF’s “win” in the elections will go down as one of the most spectacular moments of cheating in history.

We are also keen to know whether the rape allegations against “reverend” Msindo, which mysteriously disappeared, were also removed by a higher power.

These are some of the colourful characters we will have to contend with for the next five years.
Against the odds

Muckraker would like to salute those candidates who won under difficult circumstances.

In particular we would like to congratulate James Maridadi in Mabvuku/Tafara. He was up against the boastful Godwills Masimirembwa.
The Herald gave Masimirembwa lengthy coverage ahead of the poll. He was also a big contributor to funerals and other functions in the area. Indeed it was widely said he was trying to buy the constituency. On elections day he walked around complaining bitterly that people who promised to vote for him obviously didn’t.

Why does he think he deserved to win when he flattened the economy in 2007 with his damaging price controls? It would be interesting to know the source of his considerable largesse in the recent campaign.

Fizzling out Fidza

We also salute Peter Mataruse who triumphed over Philip Chiyangwa. Much like Masimirembwa, Chiyangwa tried to buy his way into parliament.

Curiously during the campaign period Chiyangwa had warned voters in the Chinhoyi seat he was contesting to be on the lookout for “crooks who will make promises and do not deliver on them”. It seems the warning was heeded Cde Chiyangwa.

Another high profile scalp is Jonathan Moyo who was given his marching orders by the people of Tsholotsho North. Thereafter Moyo unwittingly tweeted; “This is daylight robbery”, and demanded a recount. We couldn’t agree more with Moyo, except the daylight robbery is nationwide.

Meanwhile, back in Highfield, the cradle of Zimbabwe nationalism, voters chose MDC-T. This always happens just after President Mugabe has voted there!

Not an afterthought

Given that Zanu PF refutes any criticism of the election process, it may be worthwhile to underline observations made by the Sadc Electoral Commissions Forum (Sadc ECF).

“The mission was given an assurance by Zec that no serving member of the armed forces was registered as a candidate for any of the elections during this poll.”

The mission recommended that: “There is a need to clean up the voters’ roll so as to ensure accuracy and adherence to legal provisions governing elections …”

“Zec (should) ensure its poll readiness to ensure timely dispatching of election material to polling stations. This should include contingency planning and ensuring the arrival of polling material well ahead of polling day.”

These should be guidelines that are already observed, not an afterthought. And the availability of the voters’ roll is surely central to the success of polling as a whole. Yet it is treated as an addendum.

And how’s this as an item signalling low importance: “The mission also recalls the recent judgement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights in which it ruled that the government of the republic of Zimbabwe must allow its diaspora to vote by postal ballot and to provide all such eligible voters with the same voting facilities it affords Zimbabweans working abroad in the service of the government.”

Elementary stuff you would think? But this is a clear abridgement of civic rights. South Africa allows its citizens living abroad to vote. So do most democracies. But they deny it to Zimbabweans.

What has come out of this episode are the shortcomings in the new constitution. Zanu PF will no doubt undo all the democratic gains of the new constitution, making it difficult if not impossible for Zimbabwe’s friends in Sadc to continue to justify the Harare regime’s conduct.

Wasn’t the whole Sadc-sponsored GPA process designed to promote unity and stability in Zimbabwe? What we have now is disunity and instability as a result of cheating. Nobody in the civic and business sectors will want to go along with Zanu PF’s damaging populism. But we are told that is the only option.

State media hacks

Any glance at the Comesa statement provides a similarly tactful conclusion. It says the mission observed that the media coverage by the public broadcaster was generally not as balanced as stipulated in the Electoral Act. At what point did this dawn on them?

Anybody who wants evidence of shortcomings in the public media should look at the editorial on the same edition of the Sunday Mail as the Comesa statement. It is a bitter racist diatribe that can only promote hatred and disunity.

The same paper carried a “checklist of Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections”. It contained the following:
“Sadc principle”: “Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media.”

“Zim poll compliance.”: “Political parties granted access to state media.”

“Independence of the judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions”: “Judiciary largely independent;” “Zec maintained its independence and impartiality.”

“Voter education”: “Zec largely managed to carry out this role enabling citizens to participate fully and meaningfully in the electoral process.”

That we assume includes the two million potential voters aged under 30 who are unregistered.

Then there was the venerable Nhlanhla Khumalo based at 41 Infantry Battalion, Masvingo, born on August 15, 1885. That makes him 127 years old. As Allister Sparks put it, old “Zimbabwean soldiers never die, they just keep voting!”

Bots not impressed

Perhaps the most salient statement to emerge in the wake of the election was that coming from Botswana which called for an independent audit.

“There is no doubt that what has been revealed so far by our observers cannot be considered as an acceptable standard for free and fair elections in Sadc,” the government in Gaborone said.
“Sadc should never create an undesirable precedent of permitting exceptions to its own rules,” it said.

“Various incidents and circumstances were revealed that call into question whether the entire electoral process and thus its final result can be recognised as having been fair, transparent and credible in the context of the Sadc Principles and Guidelines governing democratic elections within the community.”

Botswana said besides the delays in the provision of the voters’ roll which excluded some people from taking part in the polls, concerns were also raised about the conduct and integrity of the special voting process that was carried out on July 14/15.

Well done too to South African deputy minister Ebrahim Ebrahim who asked how an election can be termed “successful” when it had not been fair.

 

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