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Archive for the 'Constitution Referendum 2013' Category

Seventh Street Alchemy

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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 by Marko Phiri

I am re-reading Zimbabwean short story anthologies and one of them is Brian Chikwava’s Seventh Street Alchemy.

An excerpt:

Sue has no birth certificate because her mother does not have one. Officially they were never born so will never die. For how do authorities issue a birth certificate when there is no birth certificate?

“If your mother and father  are dead and you do not have their birth certificate, then there is nothing I can do,” the man in office number 28 had said, his fist thumping the desk. He wore a blue and yellow tie that dug into his neck, accentuating the degradation of his torn collar.

“But what am I supposed to do?” Fiso asked, exasperated.

“Woman just do as I say. I need one of your parent’s birth or death certificates to process your application. You are wasting my time. You never listen. What’s wrong with you people?”

“Aaaah you are useless! Every morning you tell your wife that you are going to work when all you do is frustrate people!”

We have a new constitution that gave people false hope and it’s still more of the same!

Result determined before a single ballot is cast

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Thursday, August 1st, 2013 by Bev Clark

Political parties in Zimbabwe win elections in two ways: by mobilizing their own supporters and suppressing the opposition vote. With its origins as an armed guerrilla insurgency, Zanu-PF has always used both approaches, combining force and patronage to build a political base of “no-go” zones in the country’s rural northeast where the MDC cannot campaign. Absent deep roots in either the labour movement or business community, Zanu-PF long ago lost the allegiance of most urban voters. For its part, however, the MDC, with its undisciplined performance in the coalition government, failed to consolidate its early support among these same groups. It also neglected the need to rebuild its own organization and consummate a grand coalition with minor opposition parties.

More from Michael Bratton writing for Foreign Affairs here

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)

Election freebies

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

Politicians are like salesmen. Once the merchandise is sold and the money’s in the bag, the after sales service is a pain in the back. Elections are the only time you hear a politician plead and swear with the dead ancestors for support. The country is blooming with rainbow colors of election giveaways and something to put on at night to beat the winter chills, and to cover your head when you endure long hours of rhetoric in the blistering sun.

Giveaways come in various forms. Recently I was reading an article in the press about another election freebie announced by the Minister of Local Government. The local authorities are going to write off water debt. Though it could be a welcome gesture, the timing to write off water bills dating back to 2009 raises eyebrows as to whether this is another election gimmick by the revolutionary party. People now know the repercussions with comes with freebies of elections as history has shown that after being voted into power the same Minister will just recommend a hike in utility bills making the situation worse than before. If the Minister is really sincere about the plight of the Zimbabwean masses why didn’t he advise local authorities to relieve residents of the burden of paying for services long ago, when residents were drinking sewage and going for months with dry taps. Water is a human right but in the past five years it has become a luxury to some citizens of this beloved nation. So maybe these free for all gimmicks should not be limited to water only but also to the country’s sole provider of energy – Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority – which has been overcharging and switching off residents for bills inherited during the Zim dollar era.

Ten Point Guide to Reading Zimbabwean Political Party Manifestos in 2013

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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by Bev Clark

One of my favorite Zimbabwean bloggers, Takura Zhangazha, gives us a ten point guide to reading Zimbabwean Political Party Manifestos in 2013. Similar to the constitution, if you don’t read it, discuss it and question it, you’ll be a Rubber Stamper – yes, and who wants to be an RS? So uncool. Read Takura here, and download the manifestos from the Kubatana web site.

BEWARE Ye Who Dare The Oligarchs

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Monday, June 24th, 2013 by Marko Phiri

A country whose politics makes a tradition of tragic deaths through suspicious automobile accidents can only have very little to claim as an “open society.”

Zimbabwe’s roads after independence are littered with deaths of prominent individuals who everyone knows had become a pain in the ass of the oligarchs. These were individuals expressing their version of the truth as opposed to the “official” line peddled by spin doctors and apologists of the political establishment. The dead men’s crusades would be perfectly in order in any country that is not North Korea.

That this continues to happen long after independence where Africa’s liberation struggle was short-circuited and chaos-riddled by ideological wars defined by the U.S.S.R and the U.S.A and went on to claim anyone from Patrice Lumumba to Amílcar Cabral to Thomas Sankara, to Zimbabwe’s own revolution that ate its own children from Josiah Magama Tongogara to Sydney Malunga points to a political tradition that is inimical to the very ideals the “new democrats” purport to espouse.

In Zimbabwe no accident that claims a prominent politician is an accident at all. It is just one of those things we have come to accept.

What is disturbing is that despite this, it still remains the chosen modus operandi of eliminating perceived opponents.

This cannot be belaboured here, yet the impunity is troubling.

Small wonder that many people here await the day not of healing political wounds but a day of retribution where those fingered in these acts of political assassination will have their testicles squeezed in the people’s angry court.

That Zimbabweans have an “insider” tipping prominent individuals that they are targets of assassination only makes this more disturbing because apparently there is very little or nothing these people can do to avoid what is increasingly their inevitable demise.

It’s only recently that one “powerful” Zanu PF don said of Energy Mutodi’s claim that the don wanted Mutodi killed: “If I wanted him (Mutodi) killed do you think he would still be alive?”