Tuesday, 31 January 2017

BVS will stop "multiple registrant" says ZEC - nonsense the system is only as good as those running it. By P Guramatunhu

The biometric voting system (BVS) is not in itself going to stop the blatant vote rigging we have seen in past elections because the system is only as good as the people running it!

 "In 2018, we will use technology to record voters' details. The technology carries an added advantage in that it de-duplicates multiple registrants," Justice Makarau said.

"If you try to register using different names or addresses, your biometric data – your digital photograph and fingerprints – will tell us that you are the same person.”

Last time ZEC said that in 2018 voters will have their data available in one Polling Station only and not available in any other Polling Station even for station in the same constituency, for example. In other words, whilst a check of the complete voters roll can remove all multiple registrants once data has been down loaded for the individual Polling Station it is possible add the data of the hooded Zanu PF youth we all saw being bussed from one station to the next in 2013 to vote.

In 2013 nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their data was deliberately posting in some other constituency other than where they expected. Of course, this was deliberate because ties nicely with why no voters roll was never released; people would have had the mistake corrected which the authorities did not want.

In 2018 the scope for even more being denying the vote since many voters will not know which polling station in the constituency has their data. After queuing for hours and then be told their data in not in the system and no one can tell them which polling station to go to, many will just give up and go home.  

The opposition have rightly complained about the Registrar General, Tobai Mudede, for his role in the vote rigging in the past. It was his fault that no 2013 voters roll was ever released, for example. He was instructed not to release it and he was therefore only following orders.

The people in ZEC who are taking over the task of producing the new voters roll will be subject to the same influence and control as Mudede and they too will be expected to follow orders. It is therefore very naïve for anyone to conclude that the removal of Mudede is a positive thing.  One can always count on MDC people to be naïve and gullible and they did not disappoint.

"One of the attractions of biometric voter registration is that we are going to have a new voters' roll. We will also, at long last, dispense with Mudede and the contentious issue of voter registration slips," commented Douglas Mwonzora, MDC-T secretary general.

The regime can afford to dispense with one “contentious issue” but only to introduce five or more new and even more obnoxious ones!

The truth is MDC-T and many of our opposition politicians have decided they will contest next year’s election no matter how flawed and illegal the whole process is going to be. They are going to fight over the few seats Zanu PF throws at the opposition during national elections as former MDC Senator, David Coltart, admitted in his book.

“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart.

“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

So, as long as there are the few seats Zanu PF gives away to be won, the settled position is that the opposition contest the election and forget the populous’ demand for free, fair and credible elections.

The opposition will try to make their deciding to contest flawed elections sound less selfish on their part by blowing out of all proportion the difference such things as forming an opposition coalition will have in determining the winner. In 2013 President Mugabe polled 62% and the opposition candidates shared 38%. So even if a coalition had been agreed before that election and the one opposition candidate had all the 38%, he/she will still have lost to Mugabe. Unless something is done to stop him rigging the 2018 vote, he will rig the vote!

Similarly, MDC-T will be praising BVS to the high heavens because they need excuses to justify why they will not boycott the flawed elections although it is clear that the system is only as good as the people operating it. With no democratic reforms in place President Mugabe will appoint people who will help him rig the vote.

Zimbabwe’s politicians, on both sides of the political divide, are like oxpeckers; the bird will make a big fuss over its grooming and picking off the odd tick to convince the buffalo the bird is providing a five-star grooming service. But as soon as the buffalo is distracted the oxpecker will start opening up any wounds and feast on the fresh blood!

It took most Zimbabweans 20 years or so to realise that President Mugabe will never deliver the mass prosperity, “Gutsa ruzhinji!”, he kept promising; he and his cronies are prospering but for the rest it was mass poverty. When the people tried to reject Zanu PF, the regime transformed from oxpeckers to vampire bats that feed on their victims under cover of darkness. The dirty devils even have some anaesthetic their saliva so the victim will not feel those razor-sharp teeth’s deep cuts.

Zanu PF has perfected the art of concealing information on the one hand and blaming everyone else for the country’s ills. When it comes to elections, Zanu PF has been rigging the vote and thus frustrate the people’s desire to remove them from office.

After decade of life as vampire bats, Joice Mujuru and her ZimPF friends have since grown back the oxpecker plumage and back to the oxpecker routine of promising the buffalo five-star grooming service if they are elected back into power!

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends too showed their true vampire bat streak when they were in power. They were so engrossed in enjoying the trappings of power they failed to implement even one democratic reform in their five years in the GNU. They all swear that they are democratic and want free, fair and credible elections but they all quickly forget all that when presented with a chance to win even those few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives during national elections.

Whilst MDC leaders have called for reforms and even made a party resolution of “No reform, no elections!” This was just paying lip-service to reforms because they have discarded the resolutions without another thought when the chance to win a seat on the gravy train arose.

The settled position now is that the opposition will contest the elections, never see the “obvious” need to boycott them as Mr Coltart did, no matter how flawed and illegal Zanu PF makes them to secure its own no-regime-change. So, the current crop of opposition politicians will never demand the implementation of the democratic reforms and delivery free, fair and credible elections. Never ever!

 If the people of Zimbabwe are serious about end the Zanu PF dictatorship and having the first free, fair and credible elections then they must accept the political reality that Zanu PF has corrupted the current crop of opposition politicians just as the regime has corrupted ZEC, the Police and the other state institutions. ZEC, even with the new BVS, will never deliver a clean electoral process just as the opposition will never deliver free and fair elections! 

SA xenophobia attacks - there but for the grace of God Almighty goes me. Patrick Guramatunhu


There, but for the grace of God Almighty, goes me!

What makes the tragedy of Zimbabweans suffering from all these xenophobia attacks is they left Zimbabwe because their very lives had become intolerable because of economic hardships and/or political repression! We must redouble our efforts and make Zimbabwe a free and prosperous nation it can be given good governance!

Zimbabwe's problems are man-made and therefore it is in our human power to solve them if we so choose. We owe this to ourselves, to our children and to posterity to make Zimbabwe a healthy and functional democracy!

MP Mashakada, we do not need "macro-economic" but free elections to prosper. By P Guramatunhu

MDC MP for Hatfield, Tapiwa Mashakada, is just one of those MDC leaders who is good at regurgitating a lot of rocket science stuff that is completely useless and irrelevant to the simple problem on hand.

“For any economy to grow and develop, it has to invariably balance the uneasy macro-economic triangle. This triangle is made up of the macro-economic trinity of fiscal balance, monetary stability and external balance (which includes the trade balance and the net debt position),” wrote Mashakadain in his latest articles in Nehanda Radio.

He went to town and back on the same vein and got completely animated but all to no end and purpose. Zimbabwe is not in this economic and political mess not because we have failed to understand the complexities of the triangular relationship of macro-economics. Our problem is a very simple one – we are stuck for 37 years now with an incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical regime whose failed economic policies defy common sense!

Corrupt has become so rampant in Zimbabwe that President Mugabe himself has admitted that $15 billions of potential government revenue was “swindled” and a year later not even one swindler has been arrested or one dollar of the loot recovered. Even someone who has not been to school would know that is damaging to the national economy, especial for a nation whose GPD is $14 billions! The person will also know that the solution to the rampant looting is to arrest the looters and fire all those who allowed the looting to happen!

The fact that we have been stuck with an incompetent and corrupt Zanu PF regime for 37 years clearly shows we have a very serious problem of failing to hold those in power to democratic account. One would expect every thinking Zimbabwean out there to understand the nation’s greatest challenge is stopping Zanu PF rigging elections which is at the very heart of our repeated failure to remove the regime from office regardless its track record of failure, ruin and murder.

Of all people, MP Mashakada should not need anyone to remind him the nation’s top priority is the implement democratic reforms to stop Zanu PF rigging election. After all MDC leaders were elected on a ticket and promise to deliver democratic change – as the party name shows! It is clear, like the rest of his fellow MDC leaders, Mashakada has never really grasped what these changes were as the party’s disappointing performance record shows.

MDC had many chances to implement the democratic changes to stop Zanu PF rigging elections, the best and golden chance was during the GNU. They were initially given 18 months to implement the reform but the time was extended to 60 months, five years, and still MDC failed to get even one reform implemented.
At least one MDC leaders, former Senator and Education Minister, David Coltart, saw the folly of failing to implement the reforms and was disappointed that his fellow opposition politicians did not boycott the flawed July 2013 elections.

“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” lamented Senator Coltart.

“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

Not even one reform has been implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections. None of the few opposition politicians elected back into power in the July 2013 elections including MP Mashakada have done anything to demand reforms. MP Mashakada will, no doubt, contest in next year’s elections knowing fully well Zanu PF will rig the vote as before and knowing fully too that by contesting the opposition is giving the flawed and illegal process a cloak of democratic credibility.

Indeed, MP Mashakada’s highly technical article peppered jaw-breakers jargon; all useless and irrelevant, of course; is the MP launching his re-election campaign. We will see many more articles all “full of sound and fury signifying nothing” in the true Shakespearean tradition!

Zanu PF has learnt that as long as it gives away a few seats to opposition, the party will never have to worry about the opposition boycotting elections to press the demand for meaningful reforms leading to free, fair and credible elections.

Boycotting flawed and illegal elections may be the “obvious” choice to a full-shilling opposition politician like Mr David Coltart. Contesting elections for the few seats Zanu PF throws away as bait is the obvious choice to the half-shilling opposition politicians like MP Mashakada, Morgan Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru and many, many others!

In 1980, when the nation attained her independence, the nation took President Mugabe and his Zanu PF colleagues as great national heroes and heroines who could do no wrong. It was to take most Zimbabweans 20 years or so accept Mugabe and his Zanu PF colleagues were not only fallible but worse still, they were incompetent, corrupt and murderous tyrants.

Ever since 1999 when Morgan Tsvangirai and his friends launched MDC, the people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limp to elected them into power convinced they deliver the democratic changes and finally deliver the free, fair and credible elections the nation has been dying for. MDC has had many opportunities to bring about all the democratic changes the nation wanted but have wasted them because the leaders are corrupt and incompetent. The settled position now is that the opposition will never press Zanu PF to implement any democratic reforms and long as Zanu PF reward them with a few seats.

The current crop of opposition politicians is incompetent and corrupt; they will never implement any meaningful democratic changes; the sooner the people of Zimbabwe understand this political reality the sooner they can start searching for the competent and visionary – if not, then at least with some common sense – opposition leaders who will deliver the free, fair and credible elections the nation is dying for.

It too 20 years to see President Mugabe for the corrupt and murderous tyrant he is. One can only hope and pray that Zimbabweans are not going to take a similar period to see Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru for the corrupt and incompetent leaders they are; there is already a mountain of evidence to prove it out there, if people bothered to look!