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We can’t defend what we don’t know

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Comrade Fatso tells it like it is. He also re-affirms some of our bloggers opinions. The MDC is not following up their victory press conferences with any campaign to re-engage Zimbabweans after the vote on Saturday. While the MDC rightly has to take time tallying and making sense of the results, they are leaving Zimbabweans in a vacuum. I disagree with those who say that the delay in the announcement of results is causing tension and anger. As Comrade Fatso points out it can have the opposite effect of causing uncertainty and doubt – after all the regime controls all public media, and the MDC’s information capacity has always been weak.

Comrade Fatso says we can’t defend what we don’t know. In Amanda’s recent blog, Show us the figures, she argues that as soon as ZEC announces results, the MDC should be using all of its capacity and machinery to share their own comparative results, highlight discrepancies and make sure that their supporters are aware of the electoral fraud. Whilst it is important that this comparison is being done by initiatives like the Independent Results Centre, freedom is not won on the Internet. It is won by making sure people on the street are kept informed and inspired.

Victory celebrations, confusion, uncertainty. That’s the air that Harare’s breathing today. ‘Zvinhu hazvina kumira bho’ says a well known forex dealer to me. ‘No, its looking good actually,’ I tell him. ‘MDC is beating ZANU by far at the moment.’ Jealous, a quiet waiter, serving me coffee comments ‘So its bad heh?!’ ‘No, they’re winning actually, Jealous,’ I have to affirm. ‘Tsvangirai is ahead in the presidential elections’. The MDC is holding press conference after press conference while many people are holding zvakapressa conferences. Many think things have gone terribly wrong in the elections because the message from the MDC hasn’t filtered to them. And the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is announcing results at the pace of a wheelchair-less cripple making their way down a power-cut Parirenyatwa corridor.

‘Tahwina!’ is the other popular cry that lives beside the uncertainty. Those who have got access to MDC information have erupted into parties. The popular suburb of Highfields was a people’s carnival last night as residents celebrated the MDC success in their constituency. The riot police arrived and politely asked them to carry on partying the following day. The residents, stunned by the calm police force, agreed. The table next to me at the Book Cafe has been an all-day drinking session as they drink to victory and joke about ZANU’s failure. Victory is in the air. But so is uncertainty. MDC has quite likely won a big victory in the polls but the updates aren’t getting out to the people. The townships should be filled with flyers, pamphlets and megaphones updating the people. And the MDC should build this hope so that if ZANU does try and steal this election then the people will resist. We can defend victory. We can’t defend what we don’t know.

This is Comrade Fatso’s Daily Blog during the Zimbabwe Election period. See www.comradefatso.vox.com

For Daily Election Blogs by other MAGAMBA! poets and activists see www.myspace.com/magamba

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