Source: Mounting pressure for change – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd September 2022
Veteran opposition politician Professor Welshman Ncube says the government is unlikely to implement electoral reforms before the 2023 elections. Ncube, a constitutional law expert, said that, with less than a year to go before the elections, the government had little appetite for this.
‘We have to be ready, prepared to win elections under the most adverse of conditions, to be able to overwhelm, overpower, overrun Zanu PF even without electoral reforms,’ he said, adding that even if there were to be a last minute appetite for reforms it would probably be too late.
Political parties, civil society and diplomatic missions have been urging the government to amend electoral laws so that all parties have a fair chance of winning but Ncube, interim CCC Vice President, said he’d been told privately by Zanu PF people that those reforms deemed necessary had already been done (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/govt-has-no-appetite-for-electoral-reforms/).
On another front, the CCC has accused the Registrar-General’s office of deliberately frustrating urban voters by taking too long to issue national identity cards to enable them to register to vote. The allegation follows a visit by a party delegation to the RG’s Makombe office in Harare. CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba said: ‘What we saw at Makombe government complex was really shocking. Today, as the Citizens Coalitions for Change with our elections officer, we toured Makombe government building complex in Harare to see how people were getting their identity cards and also the voter registration process. It was disturbing. There is red tape at the registrar’s office as youths are being forced to wait for five to six hours.’ (See: https://newsday.co.zw/local-news/article/17088/rgs-office-frustrating-urban-voters-ccc.)
A disenchanted ZANU PF member, Sybeth Musengezi, says President Mnangagwa has betrayed the country by reneging on the promises he made when he replaced Mugabe. He described Mnangagwa as worse than a colonist. ‘When we voted Mnangagwa in 2018, we expected him to be a father of everyone not only a father to Zanu PF. We are not in support of the way he been treating opposition activists . . . Our founding values emanate from the social injustices that were being perpetrated against blacks by Ian Smith during the colonial era. Our leaders are acting like terrorists.’
NewZimbabwe says Musengezi is a member of a group supporting the incarcerated opposition legislator Job Sikhala. Former Zanu PF youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu echoed Musengezi’s sentiments saying the party had gone rogue throwing away the constitution and rule of law. ‘It is very sad that the so called new dispensation has gone rogue, disregarding totally the rule of law and disregarding the national constitution,’ said Tsenengamu (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mnangagwa-critics-says-ed-has-betrayed-zimbabwe/).
A group of Zimbabweans in the United States are planning to protest at the lack of electoral reforms in Zimbabwe and the abuse of human rights when the UN General Assembly meets in New York next month. Ronnie Muvirimi, secretary of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Voices, said they hoped other pressure groups would join them. He said: ‘This year, we Zimbabwe citizens are demanding electoral reforms in Zimbabwe. In addition, we are also highlighting the massive human rights abuses and the general abject poverty Zimbabwe citizens are exposed to due to the high levels of corruption and general incompetence by the government.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-222927.html.)
- The row continues over the angry response of a senior South African hospital official to a Zimbabwean woman seeking medical treatment after a car accident in Harare. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse protestors after violent clashes between two different groups outside the Kalafong hospital in Pretoria when the South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla visited. One group Operation Dudula wants to stop undocumented foreigners accessing health care while the other group Economic Freedom Fighters is pro migrant (see: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Police-Use-Rubber-Bullets-to-Disperse-Protestors-in-Pretoria-20220901-0009.html).
- The official who set off the storm Dr Phophi Ramathuba insists that President Mnangagwa should act on Zimbabwe’s health crisis to stop Zimbabweans crowding foreign facilities. She repeated President Ramaphosa’s call for a SADC meeting to discuss the matter (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-223004.html).
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