No reforms, no elections

HARARE - The MDC has drawn a line in the sand, with the party’s National Council restating the congress resolution that their party will only participate in elections predicated on far-reaching reforms in order to ensure a truly free, fair and credible poll.

History has shown us the futility of contesting in polls under the current poisoned environment heavily skewed in favour of Zanu PF.

Zimbabweans have yet to fully appreciate the reasons behind this drastic decision.

In fact we are in possession of hocking information that has all the footprints of Nikuv.

A perusal of the electronic voters’ roll that we bought from Zec in March shows that the file was created by one Lior Hazan, an Israeli national who once worked for the Israeli government.

A check of the history of the electronic copy of voters’ roll of Zimbabwe shows that it was created by Hazan on 27 May 2013, two months before the controversial July 31 poll.  It was modified on 14 March this year in the run-up to the by-elections by the same mysterious Israeli national, who claims to have worked here in Zimbabwe as a “computer expert” between 2008 and 2013.

A further search interestingly shows that the same guy is a dentist, an artist and an expert in chemistry and physics.

Zec owes the nation an explanation as to what links the shadowy and dubious Israeli character has with our sovereign, national voters’ roll. Why is the name of this obviously Nikuv character popping up on our national voters’ roll? What role did he play?

Firstly, the MDC has a pending court case in which it is seeking a moratorium on all by-elections until certain issues have been addressed in order to ensure a credible poll.

Since the party’s national congress took the drastic decision not to participate in any poll in the absence of reform, the situation has not changed on the ground to warrant any alteration of the decision of the supreme organ of the party.

There is no way we could have snubbed participation in the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mt Darwin West by-elections but then proceeded to participate in the other 23 by-elections under exactly the same conditions under which the other two by-elections had been held.

And the environment in the two-by elections vindicated the MDC position that it made sense not to participate in monumental frauds masquerading as elections.

Firstly, in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, we have picked that 10 000 new voters were said to have registered in 48 hours. These were obviously not physical human beings queuing to register to vote, but voters being electronically transferred from other constituencies to participate in the by-elections.

But Zec is announcing a suppressed figure of   2 000 new voters for both constituencies but up to no they are yet to give us the proper figures for the total turnout in Chirumanzu Zibagwe and Mt Darwin.

Secondly, the utterances by Emmerson Mnangagwa when he was campaigning for his wife were a clear indication that Zanu PF subverts the people’s will during elections.

The vice president told innocent villagers in the run-up to the two polls that he was trained to kill, and then he said his party used traditional leaders to ensure that voters voted for the proper party before capping it all by introducing the country’s army commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, as the Zanu PF political commissar.

We made the same mistake of participating in a fraud in 2013 in the hope that the sheer numbers of Zimbabweans who would participate in the polls would overwhelm whatever mischief Zanu PF had planned.

Writing on this matter in a widely publicised piece titled “Personal Reflections” soon after the 2013 election, MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai said: “I remember my meeting with president Mugabe on the eve of the election, a meeting facilitated by former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo at which I tabled a copy of a couple of pages of the shambolic voters roll that was to be used in the elections the following day.

“Mugabe’s response was: Ivo vana Mudede vanombozvifambisa sei? (How is the Registrar-General Mr Mudede doing his work?). He said this as he retracted into his chair, feigning ignorance of what was about to happen.

“Despite our much-concerted efforts to get the electronic voters roll on time and not getting it, we eventually participated in the elections without the said voters’ roll.

“As we in the MDC have said, we had assumed that our sheer numbers were going to overwhelm the rigging plot. With the benefit of hindsight, we were wrong,” President Tsvangirai wrote.

Because we were wrong in 2013, we will not make the same mistake again of contesting in a fraud disguised as an election.

It is imperative at this juncture to continue with our focus on the bigger picture of the reform agenda rather than a fixation with the petty issue of innocuous by-elections in the absence of key reforms.

We have got a pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in which we are seeking a moratorium on all by-elections until all electoral laws have been aligned to the Constitution and the broader electoral environment addressed.

Moreover, Rita Makarau, was proceeding with what she called “pilot voter registration schemes ahead of the two by-elections when she had said in a sworn affidavit before the court that there was need for enabling legislation first before she could take over her mandate to register voters as stipulated in the new Constitution.

How did ZRC proceed with the so-clled voter registration exercise in the absence of the legislation, as she had argued when Dumiso Dabengwa requested a copy of the voters’ roll?

In our challenge that is still before the Constitutional Court we demonstrate the capacity of by-elections to be rigged through the bussing of voters from other constituencies and wards.

We are in doubt whatsoever that thousands have already been added on the voters’ rolls in Harare East, Glen View South, Kambuzuma and other constituencies.

In any case, it is not only the MDC that is withdrawing from this apparent charade. Other colleagues in the broader democratic movement have joined this crusade of sanity and reforms first before participation.

In our application to the Constitutional Court, we attached the affidavit of Benny Rabi, the independent council candidate in the by-election of ward 15 in Chinhoyi who withdrew from the race after noting the registration of voters from the nearby constituency of Mhangura for voting in the ward in Chinhoyi.

Because this was a by-election and he had no voters’ roll just as the MDC, voters were being bussed from ward 7 Muningwa farm under Mhangura to vote in Chinhoyi.

He raised with Zec the issues of people known to him, Miriam Ncube and Fanuel Nyika of Mhangura who were going to vote in Chinhoyi but nothing was done despite this brazen and surreptitious transfer of voters from other constituencies.

“Up to the time of my withdrawal, and even after my withdrawal, Zec never made a formal written report on the outcome of its investigations, assuming there were any,” Rabi says in his affidavit.

“I also became aware that hordes of people — as many as 300 — were being transferred from Biri Farm, Portland farm, Citrus farm, Upperooms farm, Manyamba farm, Alaska Mine, and from ward 8 of Chinhoyi for registration of voters in ward 15. All of them were receiving proof of residence from the mayor of Chinhoyi. This is an observation I included in my letter of withdrawal to ZEC.”

This demonstrates that the possibility of Zanu PF bussing and surreptitiously transferring voters from other areas in these by-elections is very high.

The judgment is still pending on the moratorium we are seeking in court and we cannot be seen participating in elections under the same environment and circumstances we are challenging.

We cannot on one hand challenge the by-elections in two constituencies and then show a raging appetite to contest 21 others under the same environment despite our pending legal challenge.

We have been roundly criticised for continuing to make the same mistakes, which is why  congress decided to draw the line in the sand and doing things differently by not legitimising fraud through participating in fraudulent processes. But it seems some are criticising us for deciding not to continue to make the same mistake!

We must not be like the legendary Bourbon monarchy in France, which students of French history know had “learnt nothing and forgotten nothing” by continuing to straddle the same disastrous political path.

We in the MDC are now beginning a new, huge campaign, “No Reforms, No Elections” in which we are explaining our abstention from these periodic rituals at polling stations that are disguised as elections.

President Tsvangirai will go around the country, beginning with the constituencies where by-elections are slated, to launch this huge national campaign that will also see him engage in a diplomatic offensive in the region and the broader international community.

It is no longer business as usual and even when Zimbabweans take to the streets, as they will soon do, they will be making a clarion call for reforms as a precondition to credible elections.

We are in no doubt that given its crisis of legitimacy stemming from the stolen July 31 2013 election to a dubious party congress that was challenged even by their former partners-in-crime,  Zanu PF is desperate to have the MDC legitimizing the fraud through unconditional participation.

And even Robert Mugabe’s church — the Catholic Church — through the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has lauded the MDC’s decision not to participate in elections without reforms.

Bishop Alex Muchabaiwa, who led the CCJP observer mission during the two by-elections said: “We understand the MDC’s concerns and we encourage them to partner with similar-minded institutions to push harder for the necessary reforms and alignment of the past laws to the Constitution,” he said.

“For example, in some resettlement areas, we observed that the people were told that if they make their own independent choices, their land would be taken away just it happened to some in the previous elections.”

This is a Bishop from the President’s church commending the MDC for deciding not to participate in the fraud.

We have no reason to disagree with the good Bishop, unless someone wants us to believe that the President goes to a church of liars.

Through the decision not to participate in these by-elections and the impending national demand for reforms, the MDC is simply sending a strong message that whatever elections come tomorrow, we will not make yesterday’s mistakes whose disastrous results we can all see and are living through today.

Only on Tuesday, we wrote to the Zec chairperson, Rita Makarau, requesting for a meeting in line with our demand for reforms before participation in elections. At that proposed meeting, we will table those reforms that we think fall under the purview of the electoral management body.

So for the MDC, it’s “No reforms, No elections.” That’s the current chorus of our national campaign.

*Tamborinyoka doubles as the MDC-T’s presidential spokesperson and head of Communications.

 

Comments (7)

Absolutely correct Luke we should not sanitise this grand electoral theft. The message from President Tsvangirai in these constituencies is to tell the voters to stay at home and not participate in this fraud.

nyimo - 17 April 2015

Indeed No reforms No Elections!If there is any analyst blaming the MDC-T for not participating in these sham by -elections I do not think that so called analyst understands what he/she is supposed to analyse.These must be pseudo analysts from Zpf bent on causing confusion in the MDC-T,this time hamulume!Kujaira kufurira vamwe.Stand by your decision Morgan.Kana vachida ivo manalysts iwayo ngavanovhoterwa ivo kuma by-elections iwayo.We are sick and tired of being rigged in every election.

Cde Dokora - 17 April 2015

Rita Makarau is nothing but a brainless zpf whore!She lacks professionalism otherwise she should have resigned before the 2013 elections which she helped to rig.George Chiweshe rigged the 2008 elections and where is he now?Out of shame he skipped the country to Namibia where there are sane and ethical judges.Rita Makarau has a shut mind and a wide open bottom!

Cde Dokora - 17 April 2015

MDC was supposed to have implemented the reforms when they had the chance to do so now that chance is gone you idiot!

wilbert Mukori - 19 April 2015

THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN MDC PARTICIPATES THEY ARE BLAMED AND WHEN THEY DONT THEY ARE ALSO BLAMED, SO WHAT DO THEY DO? JOIN ZANU PF.

see - 20 April 2015

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