'AU, Sadc have institutionalised failure'

HARARE - Prominent academic Ibbo Mandaza has said the move by regional and continental observers to lend legitimacy to Zimbabwe’s flawed election shows the bodies have institutionalised failure.

The head of the AU Observer mission and a Nigerian former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, described the election as “fair” and the results “fairly credible” while Bernad Membe, the head of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)’s  observer mission, said although Sadc acknowledged the polls were “free and fair”, it had not decided if it was “fair”.

The United States, European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom have expressed concern over the elections.

The MDC has launched legal action against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s landslide victory in last week’s vote.

Lawyers for outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the defeated Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) last Friday challenged the results in the Constitutional Court.

“That the Africans have reproduced their own versions of ‘observer missions’ with the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is hardly an improvement to celebrate,” Mandaza said in a recent opinion piece.

“It constitutes a mere institutionalisation of failure, a glaring illustration that throughout the continent there is hardly any state or leader with the moral authority to judge or assess another’s election.”

“The revelation, that, like a number of other African states, Zimbabwe has reportedly engaged the services of infamous Israeli company Nikuv should have awakened us to the reality that manipulation of the voters’ roll and outright rigging have become institutionalised.”

Mandaza said Mugabe has rigged the past five elections.

“…in particular focus over the past five of its electoral experiences in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2013 with the benefit of hindsight, it is not hard to see why all five elections were flawed in favour of incumbency, nor to highlight the extent to which the 2013 one in particular demonstrates the level of impunity, on the part of the State, in manipulating an outcome,” Mandaza said.

He questioned the credibility of Zanu PF’s victory in MDC strongholds and parliamentary representation which was almost even before Zanu PF claimed two thirds majority.

Mandaza made comparison of the presidential votes of 2008 and 2013 and noted there was an average increase of nearly 20 percent for Mugabe and a corresponding decline for Tsvangirai in Bulawayo, Harare, Manicaland, and Masvingo. Mandaza questioned a 12 percent swing in favour of Mugabe in Matabelaland North and South.

“How, given the backdrop of the Gukurahundi atrocities, is this possible in these two provinces in particular?” Mandaza said.

“In general, how can an increase from the reported one of 43 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in 2013 be credible for Mugabe even after accepting that his rival will have lost some of his goals over the past five years?

“And, likewise, the parliamentary seats that were almost even between Zanu PF and MDC in 2008 but, in 2013 a whooping two-thirds majority for Zanu PF?”

Electoral fraud allegations have mounted in the wake of the July 31 polls, with Mugabe yesterday rejecting charges that he stole the vote.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network said on Thursday that more than 750 000 urban voters were missing from the electoral list.

“A total of 99,97 percent of rural voters were registered while only 67,94 percent of urban voters were registered,” said Solomon Zwana, the network’s chairperson.

Zimbabwe’s State election commission has acknowledged some mistakes in the disputed elections, but said they were not enough to sway the win for Tsvangirai.

Comments (7)

Ibbo it's not African states fault of "institutionalising failure", the fault lies squarely with Zimbawean political parties themselves. Obasanjo is not expected to grasp the political nuances of Zimbabwe. Obasanjo cannot be expected to discern rigging in an environment he doesn't know. After the violent 2008 mock elections Zimbabwean civilian parties like the MDCs should have informed Sadc, AU, UN, EU and Mbeki that Zimbabwe was under the grip of a ZanuPF military dictatorship. The military dictatorship is able to rig at will and the other parties are unable to do anything about it BECAUSE they have treated ZanuPF as a civilian party when it is a military dictatorship. Cilian parties like MDCs cannot compete with a military dictatorship. Thes parties perahps feel it is unpatriotic to criticise the military but then why enter into politics when you are scared of facing the truth. For as long as the Mdcs use the same strategy in the next 200 years they will never unseat ZanuPF from power. Elections are meant for purely civilian parties to compete against each other not parties with the backing of military men. Chiwenga has been very explicit in what he thinks about other parties but has largely been ignored by the MDCs. This has now come back to bite them on their bottoms. Obasanjo doesn't know that the military is ZanuPF and ZanuPF is the military and Mugabe is just a facade of the military. The intimidation by the military and militias (Jabulani Sibanda) started years ago but this threat was dismissed by the MDCs. What was the point of Tsvangirai having Monday meetings with Mugabe?

Chin - 13 August 2013

one day is one day! God for us all!

lola - 13 August 2013

Chin, a lot of information has been passed on to the bodies that you mentioned. Mbeki instituted two reports one by retired army generals and one led by Justices Kampepe and Moseneke in 2007-2008. The report by Justices has been a subject of court battles between the South African Government and the Mail & Guardian. The Gvt is refusing to release the report. Zanu-PF is a violent party. Stealing an election is not a new political strategy for them.

TM - 14 August 2013

mandaza is just a stupid unrependent loser,the fact that zanu pf won more seats than it did in 2008 does not entail regging,when the mdc assumed the majority in parliament,isint it a fact that it was zanu pf which had the majority before,if the mdc could wrestle most constituencies in the 2008 elections what could stop zanu pf from doing same and as for the matebeleland issue people do not vote in terms of gukurahundi,they vote basing on the qualities of aspirants,why would they vote fo a shameless promiscuous person like tsvangirai

shelaz - 14 August 2013

Its the most open, obvious and undeniable truth that Zanu pf rigged the elections.Ask thier own leaders they confess the same.Do not defend the undefendable

matida - 14 August 2013

I believe MDC T won the election but the rest is history. All those that are saying zanu won are using their emotion not ration, I can write a book on reasons why this "erection" was a sham, among them frog-marching Zimbabweans and ambushed (rushed) to this erection by zanu and its machinery (mudede, zec, judiciary, chinamasa, Nikuv, etc)? Why was the constitution violated left right and centre? Why numerous sections of the Electoral Act, Broadcasting Act, Presidential Powers among others were violated and abused? Why would zec be so worried about “violated” rights of only 26,00 special votes to the extent of seeking the concourt to allow a second chance for this vote when the same zec had refused millions a fair chance citing "compliance" to the same law? Now that over 300,00 were denided chance to vote why is zec not portioning the concourt to allow these to vote? Is this not the "All animals are equal but other are more equal than others"? This is not about murungu kana kuti America/Europe. I am a professional and a budding entrepreneur and the so called indiginisation is also a farce. Vana vevhu ngatidzidzeyi zvanhasi kuburikidza nezvanezuro kuitira ramangwana (33 years wasted). We learn the present in light of the past for the purpose of the future. Where do you place zanu in this???? For once think about it my fellow Zimbabwean.

Simon - 14 August 2013

I have said this for years - MDCs cannot compete with a ZanuPF military dictatorship. Therein lies the problem. Even if there is a re-run after 60 days you might find that MDC-T might get less than 34% they got on 31 July 2013. It is no good saying they wanted security sector reforms - who was going to do the reforms? ZanuPF. How can ZanuPF be expected to reform its trump card - the military? The fault lies squarely with Zimbabwean politicians. In Madagascar they identified a military dictatorship and are treating it as one. If I were a Zimbabwean politician wouldn't accept going into elections with a military dictatorship. It is like confronting an armoured tank with a pistol.

Chin - 14 August 2013

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