MDC ALLIANCE AND NOT LETTING FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF AN ARGUMENT

This placard at the MDc Alliance March last week tells you all you need to know about the motivation of the opposition. They can read, surely, but of course, when your turn to benefit from corruption is at stake, these guys never let facts get in the way of an argument.

After speaking to 3 separate Western Observer Missions on Thursday last week, I am now more convinced than ever that the MDC Alliance of Nelson Chamisa's objections and demands are informed by a fear of loss at the elections. Only on Thursday did I realise that their actions are driven by panic and not by actual facts of the processes.

The opposition and certain independent candidates are actually asking ZEC to do them a favour, not follow the law.

Because ZEC is actually following the law. The opposition and their fellow travelers prefer to post their "concerns" on twitter, where you are limited to a few characters and where proper analysis can not be done or real questions answered. Unlike readers of this blog: most social media people complain when a post if more than 200 characters long! But you never get the truth from such an approach. You only get affirmation of your prejudice or viewpoints. Which is actually the main reason why people who are on twitter are on twitter. They are not seeking facts. They are seeking bias confirmation.

To show the absolute truth of this: We have many lawyers in the opposition and amongst independent candidates. Advocates, even.

Why then is it that not one of them has taken ZEC to court, launching an urgent application to have order issued to ZEC to release the Voters' Roll or to observe all of the things they say are being ignored or violated?

It is because they know that what they are saying is nonsense. ZEC has, so far, behaved according to the law. You can not, therefore, accuse a Statutory Body of ignoring the law just because they will not do you a favour.

So what is the law? Here it is, and you can ask yourself (and answer yourself) which parts of this law as it relates to the Voters' Roll have been ignored or violated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

First,  the law states clearly what happens with the Voters' Roll around election time.  So here is the section, 21, which states what should be done with the Voters' Roll ( I know the objections are not genuine, so this is not for the benefit of the Alliance and its more fanatic supporters who are arguing without facts. Instead, it is for the Observers, neutrals and international government who are being misled by all the social media hysterics)

21. INSPECTION OF VOTERS ROLLS AND PROVISION OF COPIES


8 (1) Every voters roll shall be a public document and open to inspection by the public, free of charge, during ordinary office hours at the office of the Commission or the registration office where it is kept.

(2) A person inspecting the voters roll for a constituency may, without removing the voters roll, make any written notes of anything contained therein during office hours. (

3) The Commission shall within a reasonable period of time provide any person who requests it, and who pays the prescribed fee, with a copy of any ward or constituency voters roll, either in printed or in electronic form as the person may request.

(4) Within a reasonable period of time after the calling of an election, the Commission shall provide, on payment of the prescribed fee, to every political party that intends to contest the election, and to any observer who requests it, one copy of every voters roll to be used in the election, either in printed or in electronic form as the party or observer may request.

(5) Fees prescribed for the purposes of subsection (3) or (4) shall not exceed the reasonable cost of providing the voters roll concerned.

(6) Within a reasonable period of the time after nomination day in an election, the Commission shall provide - (a) free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and

(b) at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in printed form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated.

(7) Where a voters roll is provided in electronic form in terms of subsection (3), (4) or (6), its format shall be such as allows its contents to be searched and analysed: Provided that—(i) the roll may be formatted so as to prevent its being altered or otherwise tampered with; (ii) the Commission may impose reasonable conditions on the provision of the roll to prevent it from being used for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election.

(8) For the purposes of any election the Chief Elections Officer shall, through the appropriate constituency elections officer, supply sufficient copies of the ward voters roll to every polling station.

(9) Any person who, having been provided with a voters roll in terms of this section— (a) alters the voters roll, that is to say, excises any name from, adds any name to or otherwise alters the voters roll with intent to misrepresent to any person that the altered voters roll is the authentic voters roll for any election; or (b) makes use of the voters roll for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election;- shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

So there is reason why the opposition is grandstanding. On the matters where their concern was genuine, such as state media coverage,  the opposition and NGOs such as Veritas rightly launched court cases to compel these outfits to provide fair and equitable coverage. And they won their case. 

Which is why I am a bit stunned at the tone of the Sunday Mail report today on Nelson Chamisa rally yesterday. It is a factual report, with a tone that would shame even some newspapers in Western democracies (have you read The Sun or The Mirror or The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom around election time?)

The opposition, unfortunately, have brought knives to a gunfight. They are fighting a 2008 election in 2018. They are fighting Mugabe's government instead of the actual government. 

Their strategy, now that they can see they will lose, is to ensure as much as possible, that this election is considered neither free, fair nor credible.

Which will lead to maintenance of sanctions and continued suffering of Zimbabweans. Because that has always been the greatest electoral strategy of the opposition: when people suffer like they did in 2008, the opposition benefits.

But that horse has bolted. Opposition members like Tendai Biti, an otherwise intelligent man, are livid publicly, that the British and the European Union see Mnangagwa as a different person to Mugabe, a person who should be given a chance and whose governance style is more hopeful and more acceptable than Mugabes.

The truth of the matter, and my opposition leader friends understand this, is that, under current circumstances, if the West is ready to support either Mnangagwa or Chamisa should they win, the voters of Zimbabwe will definitely give their vote to Mnangagwa.

The same can not be said of parliament, where the voters are conflicted about some of the characters running for ZANU PF.

I genuinely wish the opposition would also focus strongly there, because that is where they have the greatest chance of upsetting the applecart.

The aftermath of this election is going to be a sad one to witness for those who, unlike us, replace reason with emotion when it comes to elections, politics and politicians.


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