Zanu PF: Masters of rigging

via Zanu PF: Masters of rigging 15 August 2014 by Dumisani Muleya

THE just-ended Zanu PF youth and women’s league elections ahead of the party’s congress in December have further exposed its flawed internal processes and lack of in-house democracy as corrupt practices get firmly embedded in the structures.

More than anything else, the youth and women conferences showed electoral manipulation in its various manifestations is now rooted in Zanu PF’s organisational culture, practices and structures.

The polls exposed that systematic intimidation, in this case mainly kidnappings, vote-buying and fraud — problems which the party from the lowest member right up to President Robert Mugabe’s level admitted to — have now become structural.

It is ironic Mugabe, including yesterday when he was addressing the Women League’s conference, has been bitterly complaining about the problem which he referred to as a “mess” as if it was new and unusual to him.

The problem is no longer just a “mess” but a crisis eroding Zanu PF’s internal democracy, efficiency and legitimacy. The party’s internal electoral and related processes are now hostage to fraudulent practices which can be located in the context of intensifying factionalism affecting institutional capacity stability.

Inevitably, the rot in Zanu PF has cascaded onto Zimbabwe’s national electoral politics. The linkages and ramifications of what is happening in Zanu PF have been evident in national politics, particularly the way the country runs its elections.

In fact, there is a depressing familiarity, déjà vu they call it in French, about what has happened in Zanu PF’s just-ended dodgy polls, including its primaries and provincial races last year, and the July 31, 2013 elections.

From 1980, Zimbabwe has never run free, fair and credible elections, except when Mugabe and Zanu PF were not under serious challenge like in 1995 and 1996.

In 1980, Zanu PF used violence and intimidation, as well as ethnic demographic manipulation, even though it was hugely popular, to win. In 1985, Zanu simply went for a deadly campaign of brutality against Zapu.

When Zum emerged in 1990, violence, later Zanu PF’s stock-in-trade after the emergence of the MDC in 1999, was deployed. What happened post-2000 at the height of the MDC’s popularity is now stuff of legend.

A whole state apparatus was mobilised to repeatedly manipulate elections through intimidation, violence, vote-buying and even ballot-rigging. After narrowly escaping defeat in 2000, Zanu PF went into overdrive to brazenly steal polls, particularly the 2002 and 2008 presidential elections in which ruthless violence anchored Mugabe’s battle for survival.

Last year’s elections — which Mugabe and his party are still unconvincingly trying to celebrate and present as a watershed — were clearly manipulated, rigged if you will.

The evidence: chaotic voters’ registration, registering voters illegally after the exercise had closed, voters’ roll irregularities, turning away of over half-a-million registered voters, use of fraudulent registration slips to vote unlawfully, duplication or missing of thousands of names, unusual high numbers of assisted voters, ghost voters and partisan electoral officials as well as security forces’ interference.

In other words, calculated disenfranchisement and deceit on a massive scale decided the outcome of last year’s elections, quite apart from Nikuv skullduggery.

That is why Zimbabwe is now an infamous reference point on electoral fraud, even by politicians in far-flung countries like Russia. Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have now become notorious the world over for blatantly rigging elections.

“These aren’t real elections … I have never been to Zimbabwe, but the comparison isn’t far from the truth!,” Russian Communist party candidate, Yuri Dzaganiya, once told former British Guardian foreign correspondent in Moscow, Luke Harding, who was expelled from Russia in 2011 for hard-hitting coverage of the Kremlin. Need I say more?

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
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    Why not have a premium SMS number that people can vote on various issues using their national I.D number. If the SMS cost 20 cents than the funds gathered could be used to help good causes and we would all get an idea of what people think on various issues.
    The results could publicized weekly and a new topic published for the following week as well as an accounting of funds raised and what they have been used for.

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    Tongoona 7 years ago

    Question is what do we do to correct this unpalatable situation? We all know ZANU PF is not straightforward and has been like this for decades. Give us solutions not narratives.

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    Well an opinion poll like that would give results that can be used to petition. Think about it, almost everyone in zim has a cell phone, why not use technology, instead of expensive ways of gathering info., one could make money for good causes out of it. It’s a positive way and the issues can be varied, i.e. the problems of overpopulation of crocodiles in our water systems that are creating the problem of people being killed by these monsters on a weekly basis. What should be done about it? Give five possible solutions and see what people really think on the matter, then use this information to make National Parks aware of what us people think.
    It does not have to be a political issue, just a topic of interests to Zimbabweans. I think it will create a stability in people’s minds that they can express their opinions without influence.

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    As to the unpalatable situation, we could get everyone’s opinion before individuals force a solution of their own without consideration except for how they can benefit from it.

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    As a further input, there is no bribery or intimidation, in fact one would have to be concerned enough to literally give their 20 cents worth.

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    ZIMBABWE IS TOTALLY FINISHED ,AND ZANU PF WILL NOT LET GO AT ANY COST.THEY ARE TAKING IT TO THE END WHERE EVERYONE WILL BE THE LOOSER AT THE END OF THE DAY.THERE ARE JUST TO FEW PEOPLE MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY ,BRUTAL GREED AND CORRUPTION.THIS COUNTRY IS TRUELLY FINISHED AND GOD WILL POUR HIS JUDGEMENT ON THE CORRUPT MINISTERS.THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.