The unveiling disastrous political scenario following the elections in Zimbabwe is a result of a surreptitious collaboration between the Zimbabwe Election Commission headed by Advocate Priscilla Chigumba and the Army. Whether the army took over the actual ZEC or ZEC voluntarily surrendered itself to the Junta only God knows. Perhaps it is accurate to go along with the general belief that there is a COMMAND policy in every sphere of our society. The swift and ruthless military response to unarmed opposition protesters defining them as military targets confirmed that this lady is indeed a deployee of the army and honestly not a professional to lead a Commission that is to implement a democratic process.
Chigumba ignored all the pre-election concerns of the opposition. She just said nothing and moved on as if nothing had been said. The opposition and some civic societies complained about the long absence of the voters roll which was made available to Zanu PF only and well before others could see it. The process of postal voting was grossly abused when police officers were forced to vote for the ruling party by their commanders in the absence of party agents and ZEC.
Appeals to ZEC were made, concerns were expressed and protests were made but to no avail. ZEC said nothing and just moved on as if all was perfect. The concerns of the opposition were never listened to. This can only be done by an armed person or one getting orders from them. The state media was a ZanuPF propaganda mouthpiece and concerns raised even by the observers fell on deaf ears.
The proliferation of pseudo political parties and presidential candidates who were then afforded airtime and space on the state media in the guise of opening up the media spaces was a serious political gimmick. Time cannot be extended 4 or 5 presidential candidates sharing talk time provided by ZBC compared to 23 candidates and then running to the international community to say we have opened up the airwaves? ZEC through Chigumba turned a blind eye to all of this. ZBC TV was covering all the Zanu PF rallies on a daily basis and the opposition was denied such spaces and time on the state broadcaster.
The voting pattern itself became a circus. It has been said that results of a polling station must be posted outside after being verified and accepted by all contesting parties. In many instances the results announced are totally different from those posted outside the polling stations. As the EU representative advised, there should be transparency of results traceable to polling stations. This would eliminate all suspicions.
What baffles the mind of every normal person is the brutality of the army. There was no respect of human life. The deployment of helicopter gunships, armored cars to back up the infantry as if they were engaging another army was an incomprehensible exaggeration of the threat by the “violent” protesters. This is exactly what dictators do. They use excessive force to suppress their citizens. This Harare operation was reminiscent of the Gukurahundi massacres when armed supporters of ZanuPF in the army were unleashed on Zapu supporters and Ndebele speaking civilians in the 80s.
William Adams said, “There is a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people”
Chigumba has been used by the junta to rig the elections in favor of ZanuPF. The army can kill the people now as it pleases even with Priscilla Chigumba and her likes justifying the shooting of a woman at the back by a soldier but justice shall prevail. ZEC should have been announcing all the results per constituency, with the council results being concluded and announced at ward level. The national house of assembly results are concluded and verified at constituency level, surely since the source of the results are the V11 forms it follows that the presidential results should be declared per constituency. This will eliminate doubts and possible manipulation of the vote as it moves from the 210 centers to the national center.
There are some reports that President Mnangagwa says he will carry out investigations and bring the culprits to book. The fairest thing is to set up a Commission of inquiry to come out with an unbiased report covering every aspect. Mourning the victims without accounting for their death as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces is not enough.
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