Elections? Not now

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One does not need to be a political activist or attend a political meeting to know the talks in the political circles is about the elections if it is not about the chaotic constitutional making process, there has been diverse views on the readiness of the nation to hold the elections.

We have heard the political parties talking on different political meetings expressing their readiness for the elections.

President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have expressed their readiness to hold elections while Professor Welshman Ncube on behalf of his party has said they would not want elections until all outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement are resolved and we had over the weekend that Mr Tsvangirai has now echoed the same sentiments when addressing his supporters in Bulawayo.

Judging by the mood of those that want the election I believe they think that the elections will be a solution to the political power struggles that the country is facing, it is their hope that the coming elections will produce an outright winner who will then take control of the country and not share.

While this may be correct my submission is that any election on this environment will not produce a leader who has the mandate of the majority of all Zimbabweans to lead but a section of the society.

The first reason is that Robert Mugabe still has the control of the major instruments of propaganda dissemination, he still controls sole national broadcasting media which is still partisan, this is shown by the continuation of the jingles that are playing on to this day on national television and radio despite the complaints by the other signatories of the GPA.

This rudeness alone shows that Mugabe does not yet want to embrace voice of reason or tolerate the views of other partners so what then will stop his repressive ways if we are to go the elections.

There is need to overhaul the whole election organizing human resource especially those that form the core secretariat of the Zimbabwe Election Commission if it is really true that the previous electoral commission was aligned to Zanu PF what could have stopped the from, employing those that pursued the rigging agenda, the whole secretariat needs to be reoriented on international acceptable election standards.

Just a few weeks ago the new electoral commission on their visit to Prime Minister Tsvangirai they were quoted as saying that they have no material resources to start to function, they have no vehicles and the voters role is in shambles why then will the nation hurry to hold disorganized election that will bring us again to shame, this will cast a bad light on us as a nation as people that cant handle things on our own.

This GPA should be an opportunity for us as a nation to prove to the world that we as Zimbabweans are capable of charting our way to the future in a way acceptable to the world on the best democratic standards possible.

It will be embarrassing to rush to the election and produce the results that will be challenged in courts, streets and all international forums, a result that will take us back to the times of anarchy, now we want an election that will put a mark of admiration even in the mouths of our detractors that think nothing good can come out of us.

If for the past ten years our struggle was/is for democracy to really free the oppressed I stand to assure the nation that any results from the election held in this environment will still produce the results that will take us back to the hands of Zanu PF.

Mugabe right now is cornered he is no fool he knows very well that the elections held on a better environment than this one will produce his usual rigged result and as a country we need to be more careful as an agreement to go to an election on this environment will indeed be playing to the his gallery.

His instruments of repression are still not serving the nation but his interest, those that were in charge of these instruments of terror that is the C.I.O, the army; the police are still his lieutenants who will do anything to prove that they are Mugabe’ boys first and Zimbabwean later.

Surely our nation was divided by the elections and the politics of the past and the National Healing organ has not been given a chance to prove its worthiness and has not yet produced any results because I believe this organ has got a very noble mandate though it is not given enough support and recognition by the powers that be.

I am of the view that we have not yet reconciled as a nation so if we are to go to the elections in this environment there are high risks that those that fear prosecution for their past crimes against humanity, who came close to be brought to account for their actions will be more violent now to avoid justice in pursuit of putting to power those that they think will protect them.

The constitution writing process has so far presented some views that we should not avoid as we prepare for the elections.

Proportional representation and Devolution of power has been mentioned in the majority of provinces covered so far, so if we want the election on this first -past -the -post system then we will go to the election that is going to be exclusive to the interest of the majority of people and a system that does not guarantee the maximum voter turnout.

It is clear that the people are now tired of the selfish first past the post system mainly because it is prone to manipulation from delimitation of constituencies and confusing long candidate lists of candidates for different positions.

The generality of the population especially those that fill marginalized will not take the risk of going to the election and hope the politicians will deliver a devolved system of governance once elected they trust no political force to entrust such treasure but feel much comfortable to have it as a properly constituted system of governance in the constitution.

It is very much unthinkable for us to wish to go the election when the country still does not have a transitional mechanism in the constitution, the present set-up seems to suggest that there will be a perpetual monarchy that will never die, retire or loose an election.

If Mugabe was to loose power as most wish what system is there to guarantee a smooth transfer of power, we come from a past where some security chefs have said they would not salute the president who has not worn a straight jacket as if the one we have was ever in combat during the war of liberation.

Finally my view is that as a nation we are not yet ready to hold any elections under this environment, I argue that any intention to go the elections is not driven by the interest of the people as I have submitted above but by some strange political agenda that has nothing to do with the generality of the masses.

I strongly believe that Mugabe now has seen that the constitution is now an inevitable tool to bring his rule to an end and will push hard to scuttle the process and lets us not play to his gallery by allowing elections now.

Gifford Mehluli Sibanda can be contacted on gifford.sibanda@gmail.com or 0913 267 456

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