Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Author Archive

Sound familiar

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Friday, August 2nd, 2013 by Emily Morris

“History repeats itself, it just gets the details wrong” – PvS

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) elections check list

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Monday, July 29th, 2013 by Emily Morris

- Establish confusion around new constitution laws
- Ensure minimal voter education
- Ensure SLOW voter registration (do NOT set up adequate number of stations)|
- Print too many ballots (±2 million extra should be adequate)
- Publish polling stations late (max of 4 days before elections)

What is the hype for?

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Emily Morris

As far as most big news broadcasters are concerned, there is only one story worth reporting on at the moment – there is a royal baby! Nelson Mandela could die or Denmark could finally break off Europe and sink into the sea, but these are irrelevant stories since there is a new 3rd in line for the throne.

It is understandable that people need distractions from the normal doom and gloom news broadcasts, but media does have a tendency to overdo, and overcommercialise these events – and they really have gone all out this time. You can download an app that tracks the hourly progress of the baby, or read a book on the history of the diapers used by the royal family (because I’ve always wanted to know what type of diaper queen Elizabeth crapped in!)

Although a “guess the royal baby’s name” app would be more light-hearted entertainment than “guess how many people died in Syria today”, the hype does tend to eclipse far more life changing stories that still need to be reported, since the revolution in Brazil isn’t going to go on hold … while everyone dotes over the fact that it’s a boy!

Our surveillance country

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Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by Emily Morris

According to the Heal Zimbabwe Trust community update, a headman in Gutu West has threatened MDC-T campaigners that the ZANU-PF party is going to install hidden CCTV cameras in every house in the area. This is a scary threat for everyone (just look at the trouble the states got into when Edward Snowden decided to have his five minutes of fame), and for the MDC-T campaigners it must have been terrifying, but thinking about the logistics of this makes you snigger. They are saying a government, which can’t even provide power to its capital city for 24 hours is going to set up CCTV cameras? I would love to know where the funds for this one would come from, since apparently we don’t have enough money to complete our mobile registration. The threats that are coming out are ludicrous and completely unrealistic, and yet they have struck such deep fear into so many thousands of people who want something as simple as a peaceful and credible election!

It shouldn’t be this hard to find out where to vote

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013 by Emily Morris

At the moment, if you go onto the official Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) website, you can download a list of all the polling stations in the country, arranged by province. This would be great if the document wasn’t almost completely useless!

On opening the document, a 632-page PDF file, you find that the table (which should display where you can vote for your respective constituency) is too wide for the document, and so none of the information is lined up correctly, making all the information irrelevant. The important part (the bit about where you can vote) is all at the bottom rather than lined up with the correct constituency – it could have been a 316-page document.

Therefore, to work out where to vote you’d have to print the entire document and match up the lines of the table (not that the table is complete) or, do as I did and copy and paste the entire document (page by page) into various different programs before finally getting all the correct information in the right place. Speaking from experience, this takes 5 solid hours (not including the extra time spent trying to work out what some of the words are meant to say).

It shouldn’t be this hard to find out where to vote.

It’s going to be an interesting election!

Benefit from Emily’s copy/pasting, make your life easier, and access the spreadsheets of the polling stations as Excel files on our website. – Ed

Come on Zimbabwe

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 by Emily Morris

The function of a civil resistance is to provoke response and we will provoke until they respond or change the law. – Gandhi