2013 poll not perfect — Minister

HARARE - Fortune Chasi, the deputy minister of Justice, this week opened a can of worms when he became the first  Zanu PF and senior government official to admit that last year’s elections were not perfect.

Although President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF team on Thursday marked the first  anniversary of their election victory with pomp and fanfare — opposition political parties and analysts maintain that last year’s plebiscite was not only imperfect but also a farce.

On July 31 last year, the country plunged into elections with the main opposition party MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, failing to get access to the crucial voters’ roll — amid allegations that the voters’ register was replete with ghost voters and also accusations that  Zanu PF had roped in an Israeli company Nikuv to clandestinely manipulate votes.

Speaking mid-week in Harare at a gathering jointly organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Election Resource Centre to discuss Zimbabwe’s current political state, Chasi tacitly admitted that the July 31, 2013 polls won controversially by his Zanu PF had serious flaws.

Although Chasi’s admission to imperfections in the voting process were crafted carefully and couched in diplomatic language, it could still see the Zanu PF legislator for Mazowe South coming under serious attack from party hawks for his utterances.

“The first evaluators of the elections are Zimbabweans and we agree that the elections were by and large free and fair which is entirely different from saying they were perfect,” he said.

He went on to encourage civil society organisations to push for enhanced democracy in the country so that the electoral flaws that fouled last year’s polls would not be repeated in future.

“If I am to leave a message to you it is to say that we must continue to move as a country to advance the frontiers of democracy passionately and honestly and this requires a number of things to happen, one of which is that we need as a country to develop trust and trust is earned. All of us whether you are in an NGO or whether you are in government you must be doing things that cause people to trust you,” Chasi said.

Mfundo Mlilo from Crisis Coalition told the Daily News yesterday that Chasi’s admission that elections were not perfect vindicates the long held view that last year’s polls were flawed.

“What we learnt from the discussion is that there was something fundamentally wrong with the 2013 elections. The outcome was questionable because of certain flaws,” said Mlilo. 

Philani Zamchiya, who shared the stage with Chasi was also of the view that the immediate past elections had suffered from a number of technical flaws. However, he did not believe that these technical flaws fully accounted for the MDC’s election loss.

“What is not conclusive at the moment is that how much of these (flaws) contributed to the loss of the MDC. So we need to be able to look at the different parts before we come to a conclusion in terms of how much that affected the outcome of the election,” Zamchiya said.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, the director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute said Chasi’s statement is a confirmation of the obvious.

“Zanu PF is imperfect, the electoral system is imperfect we cannot even debate about that. Right now the voters’ roll is still secret to Zanu PF.

Zimbabwe is an authoritarian electoral system where we have a packed bench which delivers favourable judgments to Zanu PF, anyone who says the judiciary is impartial is in cloud cocoon land.

“The simple reasoning that because there was no violence does not mean that the elections were free and fair. If the elections were free, why is the economy not celebrating,” said Ruhanya.

Tawanda Chimhini from the Elections Resource Centre said the discussion was an eye opener.

“When we set up that event, the purpose was to give ourselves a chance to reflect, the main purpose was to bring all those viewpoints from business, politics and civil society together.

“What we learnt from that discussion from the government side is that some things were not done right, this shows that we are on the same wavelength as we have always questioned the elections. So  now going to elections, we should look at the reform agenda,” said Chimhini.

Comments (19)

Zanu PF will never win free and fair elections, how do u expect Mugabe to lose elections when he controls everything.

TAKAGARA TAZVIONA - 2 August 2014

Who cares whether the elections were stolen or not who cares?? Who cares about who is ruling its a whole lot of rubbish, it does not bring food to my table

Apostle - 2 August 2014

My fervent hope for you @Apostle is that one day you will realise that it is important to care about politics. Because good politics does put food on people's tables, and conversely poor politics takes food away from people's tables. It's that simple.

Khumalo - 2 August 2014

Elections in Zimbabwe are a worthless exercise. People in the Reserves should not vote in important national elections because they do not pay income tax, are unsophisticated, out of touch with current events, are not affected by a government's performance and are susceptible to intimidation and bribery. Let's face it, we in the towns have nothing in common with our Reserve folk. If I have no water for 10 years in Harare and experience power outages for days on end it is not a problem for the people in the Reserves who drink water from wells and never use electricity. For me election time is the time to punish non-performing or under-performing politicians but am unable to do so because voters in the Reserves outnumber us the voters in the towns. Otherwise what is the point of elections when it does not depend on politicians' performance? Voters must have some minimum level of education like “O” Level. Some people are so ignorant some important political decisions should be taken away from them for the sake of progress. It's nonsense to say, “…voting is an inalienable right of all adults” because some adults are just plain ignorant and have no clue why or what they are voting for. I always discuss with my relatives in the Reserves on political issues without actually saying where my political loyalties lie or arm-twisting them for my safety and their safety. To be honest some should never be allowed near a ballot box.

Musona - 2 August 2014

The other reason why I say elections are worthless is because civilian parties are trying to do the impossible - trying to defeat a ZanuPF military in elections. Army General Chiwenga was pictured in one newspaper, in full military attire, flanked by Mumbengegwi and Sekeramayi going to celebrate ZanuPF election victory. The army personnel should not be doing such things - siding with a political party. What does the much-hyped new Constitution say about army personnel being non-political? Nobody says anything about such things. People are too petrified to criticise the military. Where is the freedom? I cannot see any civilian party like the MDCs unseating ZanuPF military in an election.

Musona - 2 August 2014

Spot on Musona I am of the same view that villagers , elderly people in all rural areas must be excused from voting they have no idea why or know any polices for any political party in the country . They contribute nothing to economy of this nation . The people who may be aloud to vote in our rural areas are civil servants or the working class in those areas the rest can be given a break .

Diibulaanyika - 2 August 2014

I feel sorry for this guy Fortune very soon he will be involved in an accident watch this space you remember what happened to Chris ,Malunga , Zvobgo , Border , Manyika and recently Chininga But otherwise bigger up tor you man for calling a spade a spade only insane people can say last year's elections were fair bcoz they are insane and no one can blame them because of their state of mind.

Diibulaanyika - 2 August 2014

One idiot who calls himself HAPAZ HAPANYENGWI posted the following garbage yesterday -- “I am at this Musona, or whatever yo name is.l think before 1980 you were a member of the notorious SelousScouts, a GuardForce in the so called Keeps, an Axullary Force or something.Why ?Because u think indepence came to Zimbabwe as a result of voting in 1980(not considering that war caused pple to negotiate since all sides where loosing money ,time and value of resources used).You don't believe in land reform yet history tells us there was the First Chimurenga to fight for land ,then 2nd and finally 3rd.The majority blacks were denied sound education, only in 1980 that the government embarked on massive education campaign to educate majority and today we are no-1 in Africa. They are too proud to announce it that we are even better educated than most Europeans and Americans. Right now there is a silent war of trying to control our African resources by proxy and that's why the continue to hire former black Rhodesian Army members like this Musona guy, who are stupid and ignorant or rather educated fools to tell us that we never liked land ,never liked education ,never liked to control our own God given resourced. its a shame that we have black Africans who think we must be ruled by whites or rather Smith was better than Mugabe, in what sense really when majority during those days were sideline and the fact that they were quite is because they were denied voices to talk or challenge the system. Today we have freedom before ,during and after speech. Musanyepere vanhu imimi pliz,tell the true story and TELL IT LIKE IT IS.”

Musona - 3 August 2014

@Hapaz Hapanyengwe - stupid ignorant moron. Before the whites came there was no single SCHOOL in this land. The Education you are talking about was started by the whites. Without the whites there would be no education to talk about. It is a LIE that the majority of blacks were denied the education that the whites brought to this land. Mugabe's school fees were paid by white missionaries at Kutama. EDUCATION WAS BROUGHT BY THE WHITES TO THIS LAND. IF THE WHITES HAD NOT COME TO THIS LAND WE WOULD NOT HAVE HAD ANY EDUCATION AT ALL.

Musona - 3 August 2014

@Hapaz Hapanyengwe - LAND. This land had no borders. It was the whites who set out the borders. You are displaying your ignorance. Before the whites came there was no nation-state. The so-called First Chimurenga was not people fighting for land, they were fighting the whites who wanted to establish some order in the way people lived. That is some land for farmiing, some for houses, some for factories, some as game reserves, not have people roaming around aimlessly hunting all over the place. Our forefathers did not need much land - what for? They never did nay farming, just simple ploughing using ma padza. How many acres can you cover with a BADZA? Not more than an 18-yard area of a football field at the most. There was no point in giving large tracts of land to poor people who had no commercial farming skills. Whites had more land because they had unique farming skills to do serious commercial farming and the money to do so whereas our forefathers did not. The OX-DRAWN PLOUGH was brought by the whites together with education.

Musona - 3 August 2014

@Hapaz Hapanyengwe - I HAVE NO HESITATION IN STATING VERY VERY CLEARLY THAT IAN SMITH WAS A BILLION TIMES BETTER THAN ROBERT MUGABE. I was not a member of Ian Smith's forces at all. You are trying to silence me by giving me stupid labels. Why should I say Mugabe is better when he engineered the world's highest rate of inflation? I was born in Highfield and was very very free to do what I wanted and so did other people. It's vacuous nonsense to say we were no free. We were freer than we are now for your own information. Let me repeat once again - IAN SMITH WAS A BILLION TIMES BETTER THAN ROBERT MUGABE.

Musona - 3 August 2014

@Hapaz Hapanyengwe - One Saturday morning, in the year 2000, I witnessed one of the most amazing scenes will ever see in my life - I drove to Fife Avenue Shopping centre to buy some items in a Hardware shop. I went in OK supermarket nearby first and when I got inside there was commotion - I soon realised that Ian Smith was in the supermarket and was mobbed by shoppers and shop workers. Everything came to a standstill. People outside thought there was a fight inside only to see it was people cheering Ian Smith. I could not believe what I was seeing. When he went outside back to his red VW Golf car still he was being mobbed and cheered by almost everyone at Fife Avenue. People were shouting you were dead right Mr Smith. All spontaneous. He just smiled and never said anything and drove away. At the time cellphones were just being introduced but with no camera as we have now. In fact, if there was a video camera around that would have been a real scoop. The scene at Fife Avenue Shopping centre that day were astonishing. Jaw-dropping stuff. If Ian Smith's government was as our politicians say then he should have been attacked by the crowd but instead the crowd spontaneously mobbed and cheered Ian Smith like you will never see in your life. This was a very busy Saturday morning and people came rushing from all directions when they heard it was Ian Smith all cheering. He was alone without any bodyguards. This goes to show you how good he was.

Musona - 3 August 2014

ALL OF ZIMBABWE'S POLITICAL LEADERS' EDUCATION WAS PAID FOR BY THE WHITES. Little knowledge is very dangerous. Blind followers like Hapaz Hapanyengwi don't even know that education was brought by the whites and that ALL political leaders' education was sponsored by the whites. These politicians pretend to be the most anti-white or anti-colonialist when they were mothered by the whites. These black politicians pretend to detest colonialism to cover up how their education was paid for by the whites. Without the WHITES none of these people would be politicians. My questions to Hapaz are - which came first, education, colonialism, badza, gejo (ox-drawn plough), bicycle, tractor, toilet? Who brought these to this land? If we did not have colonialism would we be having (1) more jobs or (2) less jobs or (3) no jobs at all? Give us names of the first generation black politicians who never worked for the WHITES in Southern Rhodesia. (by first generation I mean those who entered into politics around the 1960s like Mugabe, Nkomo, Chikerema, Nyandoro, Chinamano, Takawira et al although others named had already entered politics like Chikerema, Nyandoro, Nkomo) Who were the original inhabitants of this land now called Zimbabwe? Give proof in your answer(s). Where did the Ndebele come from when they finally settled in what is now called Matebeleland? Which years roughly did they settle in Matebeleland? Who were the original inhabitants of Matebeleland? Who in your opinion built the Great Zimbabwe? Why do you think those politicians who were mothered by whites in Southern Rhodesia are anti-colonialist or anti-white? The natural thing is to respect those who mothered you and paid for your education. Why did some politicians only enter into politics AFTER finishing their college education (paid for by the whites)?

Musona - 3 August 2014

Why did all these politicians only realise colonialism was bad around 1960 when all along they had worked for whites with no problems and accepted whites pay for their schooling? Why do these politicians criticise black colonial education AFTER 1960S when it got them where they are now and when there was no education at all before colonialism?

Musona - 3 August 2014

@Musona apo waposha mwana mdhara kufananidza chakaipa nechakaipa Smith haafi akaita nani ,Mugabe haafi akaita nani . Ndivudze ndeupi aiva arinani Chidhumo naMasendeke nokuti chandinozva mhondi imhondi hapana chinochinja . Ukavudza hama dzangu kuno kuMberengwa dzakavuraigwa vana vavo naSmith unofunga moyo yavo inofara here . Zvirinani ndife ndichitambura than kuti Smith aiva arinani

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 3 August 2014

Are you having problems with your borehole or dreaming to have one. try us for your installations, repairs, faulty diagnosis, maintenance and pump sales. email. boreholepumps@yahoo.com

aqua - 4 August 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.