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Archive for the 'Elections 2008' Category

Dodging election talk

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Friday, August 16th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

Fixing things, flipping channels for some entertainment and in-between visits to relatives made my long holiday worthwhile. I caught a breath of fresh air and had some time to get rid of the election hang over.  For past six days I tried to keep myself busy so that I can stay away from newspapers and news channels. Besides the election controversy in Zimbabwe, Egypt burning and the States chasing after Snowden seems like too much to consume in eight months. Summer is now unpredictable these days so I had to spend my time fixing my roof and painting doors, walls and even the gate. I ended up even trying my hand at fixing electrical appliances.

My neighbors were even amused when they saw me on the roof and one of them asked if everything was okay? Knowing where I work the old man living next door came to my place asking me if the new government has also rendered me jobless. This is one old man I sometimes chill with and discuss politics with though his only source of information is state news channels and to him independent news sources are imperialist mouthpieces bent on taking us back to the colonial era. He openly speaks of his allegiance to ZANU-PF and being a staunch supporter of President Robert Mugabe. Sometime back he said to me that NGOs should be banned because they are here to remove the government and cause chaos in the country. When the election results were announced he went on a drinking spree. He later shared his happiness saying the country is now back to the rightful owners and everything will be free starting from debt cancellation by the council. He even castigated Tsvangirai wasting taxpayer’s money by going to court to seek nullification of election results. I tried to remind him that he should just enjoy the remittances he is getting from his two sons working in South Africa and leave Tsvangirai alone. He seemed to foresee an increment in his pension along with pay increments for civil servants promised by the President in his speech during Heroes Day commemorations.

This was hell of a long political lecture taking place on a rooftop and to make it even worse we had to wait for electricity from ZESA so the we could continue to drill and punch some holes before I could escape from this election trap.

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

Remember, unity

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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 by Bev Clark

Our hands full or not:
The same abundance.
Our eyes open or shut:
The same light.

- Yves Bonnefoy, in The Curved Planks: Poems

Zimbabwe should never be a colony of its own again

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Friday, July 12th, 2013 by Fungayi Mukosera

Our country has for a long time now been a manufacturing pot for the redefinition of kleptocracy and dictatorship. All the extremes of bad and evil governance have been crafted in our backyard and I pray that in this information age such insanity should be well exposed and put to an end. All Zimbabweans should now appreciate that our independence in 1980 was just a transfer of colonial power from Smith’s dictatorship to a tougher and homegrown type of repression. Our election in 2 weeks time should be a show of protest and the right machine gun to bring this gluttonous oligarchy in Zimbabwe to an end.

Elections, looks and baboons

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Friday, July 12th, 2013 by Marko Phiri

Comments attributed to First Lady Grace Mugabe that Mr. Morgan Tsvangira’s looks gave First Gentleman Robert Mugabe nightmares just show how low-brow the politics of State House can become.

Critics have long said our politics is not issue based, and Mrs. First Lady seems to confirm that.

It highlights she not only has very low regard for Tsvangirai (she doesn’t have to: Tsvangirai wants to take her husband’s job!), but most importantly perhaps, the low regard she has for her audience.

The favoured phrase for many people would be “don’t insult our intelligence.”

Imagine expecting to swing votes by telling voters that you need a more photogenic fellow at State House! That would help in international photo opportunities!

You are simply implying that your audience has no clue about the real issues that seek to address their impoverished livelihoods, but such has been the nature of Zimbabwean politics, recalling the rather unpalatable comments by one “nationalist” and “national hero” that if a baboon stood for Zanu PF in elections, you vote for that baboon.

Surely Zimbabweans deserve better.

“They must tell us if they don’t want us to vote”

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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by Marko Phiri

It’s shocking the number of people who say they have voted in all elections since 1980 but somehow find their names absent from the voter’s roll, and now these same people are faced with the prospect of not voting at all.

If ghosts can be found in the voters roll, it seems logical that the living can also be exorcised from the roll! And these stories are many.

Some are stories about people who want to vote but have no IDs, and efforts to get these important documents are being frustrated by all sorts of ridiculous red tape such as the person being told to bring parents, if parents are deceased, relatives with affidavits, if these relatives are buried deep in the rural areas, then that’s the end of it!

I watched a video of men and women yelling “they must tell us if they don’t want us to vote,” after trying for days to check their names and also register and couldn’t help must imagine that this is the kind of anger that is already known to exist by the people rushing the poll and their vote is as commonsense will have it, also already known how it will go!

It is thus increasingly becoming clear that many Zimbabweans will merely watch others exercise their franchise, and then we say bad governments are elected by people who don’t vote.

Now we know better: bad governments will make sure you don’t vote!