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Court ruling: A ploy to rig elections
Youth Agenda Trust
July 05, 2013
Trust received the Constitutional Court ruling on the holding of
elections on July 31 with shock and disgust and views it as one
that is masked by a sinister political agenda and a serious assault
on the rights of all Zimbabweans by denying them an opportunity
for a credible,
free and fair election.
The ruling only
serves to show that the country’s judiciary is not independent
but one that is swayed by the whims and caprices of selfish politicians
who want to ambush Zimbabweans into a sham election motivated by
selfish political interests.
The court verdict
has confirmed widely held beliefs that the country’s judiciary
is being held at ransom by power hungry individuals in Zanu-PF who
are not interested in a credible and transparent election but a
hurried election that does not give the people an opportunity to
unmask electoral fraud designed to steal the elections.
that the Thursday court judgment will go down in the history of
the country as a black moment that marks the death of constitutional
democracy in the country.
As YAT, we maintain
that it is not possible for the country to hold free and fair elections
on the 31st of July mainly because of the following issues:
1) Chaotic voter
registration exercise: The voter registration has been deliberately
designed to deny bona-fide citizens of this country their right
to vote. The voter registration process has been one that has been
marred by poor administration and is custom made to frustrate potential
registrants. The time that has also been allocated to register is
not enough as most people have either failed to cope with the long
and winding queues and or have not had time to visit the centres
in the short period due to other competing interests.
2) Poor voter education: Despite the fact that elections are only
three and a half weeks away, there has been no serious attempt by
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to educate Zimbabweans on the
impending plebiscite and their right to vote. As YAT we feel that
the information blackout by ZEC has been deliberate and meant to
keep unsuspecting citizens in the dark.
3) Shambolic voters roll: The country’s voters’ roll
which is maintained by the registrar general remains the biggest
fraud in the electoral history of the country. It is public knowledge
that the country’s voters’ roll is a back-up of the
death entry register where the dead are abused into manipulating
election results. It is also in the public domain that the voters’
roll is being used to mask electoral fraud with a lot people confirming
that their names are being deliberately deleted from the list and
replaced with imaginary characters. In short, the voters’
roll is not credible.
4) Political reforms: Among the key reforms outlined in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) are the security sector and media
reforms. YAT notes with disappointment that the Zanu PF side of
government has continued to shield the security sector from undergoing
democratic transformation. Service chiefs who are civil servants
continue to undermine other principals to the Global Political Agreement
other than President Robert Mugabe buy reiterating that they will
not cede power to anyone who is not from Zanu-PF. We maintain that
all individuals in the security sector remain answerable to civilian
authority and anyone who acts contrary to the dictates of the people
is not fit for public office. We therefore feel that unless there
is security sector realignment, there will be no free and fair elections
to talk about. We also note with dismay the unprofessional conduct
of state media which has failed to reform and has continued on a
warpath with other political parties that are not Zanu-PF. We particularly
refer to the biased media coverage in all news bulletins carried
by ZBC and uncouth articles that are being published in the Herald,
Chronicle and the Sunday Mail. We feel that until there is fair
media coverage in the state media, there is no credible election
that we can talk about.
5) Violence and Intimidation: We also note with disgust violence
and intimidation that is being perpetrated mostly in rural communities
by youth militia and state agents who are openly campaigning for
Zanu-PF. We feel that the use of force and intimidation is a serious
issue that threatens the holding of free and fair elections. Until
and unless there is peace and tranquility in the country, we cannot
talk of free and fair elections.
6) Manipulation of state resources by Zanu-PF: We have noted that
Zanu-PF continues to monopolise state resources by using them to
further its interests. We saw the party using officials from the
Zimbabwe Republic Police to conduct its primary elections. We maintain
that as long as we have a partisan security service and the manipulation
of state resources for political gain, we cannot talk about free
and fair elections.
It is because
of the reasons mentioned above that makes us believe that we are
not ready to hold a credible election. A free and fair election
will remain a pipe dream unless these issues are addressed. As Youth
Agenda Trust, we demand that:
1) The Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission and the Registrar General’s office conduct
a thorough and inclusive voter registration exercise which will
enable all Zimbabweans to register to vote and participate in the
2) That the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission conducts a thorough nationwide
voter education and also allow civic organisations to conduct voter
education so that the forthcoming elections are not held under the
cover of darkness but are free and open to the public.
3) That the registrar of voters allow for the public audit of the
voters roll and ensure that people have access to the document before
elections are held. We call upon principals to the Inclusive
Government to see to it that the voters roll indeed represent
the true picture of the country’s electorate.
4) That all service chiefs should submit to principals of the inclusive
government without prejudice and that they should be prepared to
respect the will of the people after the July 31 elections. We also
demand that all security forces should conduct themselves in line
with their constitutional duties.
5) An end to violence and intimidation and that the Zimbabwe Republic
Police should arrest all perpetrators of violence without fear or
6) State entities to account for all resources entrusted to them
by the people and stop associating themselves with political parties.
We call upon all state actors to leave politics to politicians and
concentrate on serving the people.
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