THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) must be apolitical and must not dance to the whims of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Failing to recognise the opposition MDC Alliance party led by Nelson Chamisa, which has more than two million supporters, and invite it to the stakeholders meetings is just being mischievous.
The party represents a bigger constituency in Zimbabwe than those who attended the meeting.
Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba must be ashamed of herself.
Zec’s behaviour exposes its double standards in discharging its duties and it cannot be trusted by electoral players.
Its existence is a complete joke and a disaster.
It is evident that the institution has been captured by the ruling party, hence electoral and media reforms should be instituted before it is too late.
It’s unfortunate that the electoral body is now acting like a Zanu PF cell, which always waits for instruction from those controlling the levers of political power.
Zec has officially become a referee and a player at the same time and has ceased executing its constitutional duty of supervising and running elections to the satisfaction of Zimbabweans.
The recruitment of Zec officers must be interrogated and scrutinised. It looks like the institution is wholly manned by State security operatives who appear to be enablers of the regime.
It must stop being partisan and deliver its mandate without fear or favour.
It is critical that Zec be proactive and ensure that there is a level playing field for all contesting political parties.
Zec must be an exemplary leader in electoral democracy and supervising elections from time to time.
In 2008, Zec deliberately delayed to announce the presidential election results pitting the two late rivals, Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) and Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF).
On March 29, 2008, unofficial preliminary results indicated a favourable result for Tsvangirai.
Results were not officially released until May 2, when it was announced that Tsvangirai had garnered more votes (47,9%) than Mugabe (43,2%).-Leonard Koni
Govt making a mockery of democracy
TEACHERS employed by church- run schools do not subscribe to trade unionism. They don’t take part in industrial action to press the employer for better conditions of service and salaries that are commensurate with the ever-changing socio-economic circumstances.
They are harnessed to religion. I have no qualms with them, so long as they are pulling together with other teachers. Religion, like all things on earth is elastic, has meaning and purpose.
Teachers are workers and like all workers, they sell their time to the employer. The time is commodified and valorised to determine salary or wage.
In short, workers’ time is converted into a commodity and assigned a value for wage or salary. There are too many unions to be of any practical use to teachers. Too many cooks spoil the broth! They are after money from subscriptions.
Teachers, lawyers for human rights and other non-governmental organisations championing human rights seem oblivious to section 27 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which states that in Zimbabwe education
shall be free from basic to tertiary level.
And yet school heads and their school development committees (SDCs) send learners back home for non-payment of fees. The government responds, feebly and with a forked tongue: that it is illegal. So the practice persists ad infinitum until it becomes the norm or “legal” and “lawful”.
School heads and their SDCs and government are working in cahoots to violate the Constitution with impunity.
Parents are aware of this blatant violation of their children’s right to education. Debt collectors are engaged. Parents are taken to court for a payment plan, lest their properties are attached. What madness is this?
Many of these school heads and SDC members and the lawyers received free education from 1980.
Is it not true, therefore, that “the noble fight, the clergy pray, the peasants pay taxes to the State; to the church they pay tithes and to the nobles’ feudal dues …? This captures the suffering of the plebeian in Zimbabwe.
Democracy does not work the way teachers, churches and government are doing it. They are making a mockery of it and are leading the parents through the proverbial garden path.-Martin Stobart