All the drama that Nelson Chamisa is currently engaged is completely unnecessary and utterly self-defeating. The MDC Alliance and all the opposition candidates are well placed to stop any supposed rigging without damaging the institutions of our country that are needed to make sure democracy endures and Zimbabwe becomes prosperous.

And stopping any potential rigging is so easy one now understands why most observers are now of the view that Nelson Chamisa and his Alliance are cry-babies who do not want to go elections at all for fear of a loss and to push for a non-elected GNU.

ZEC has said that the Voters' Roll they gave out is clean, it has not ghosts on it. Chamisa and his people do not believe them. Fine. Skepticism is a good thing. But there is a better and more ironclad way to not only check this, but also protect the vote of Zimbabweans.

Instead of insulting the ZEC Chair, alarming and demotivating his supporters will constant talk of a basically already-stolen vote, Chamisa, if his intention is really to make sure that the vote is free and fair, should do the following:

  • Use the multi-party consultative forum to ensure that ZEC agrees and guarantees that each polling agent for each political party will guaranteed a seat at the polling officers' table.
  • Get a guarantee now that each voter will be verified by not only the polling officer but also by party polling agents. This means basically, the candidates' polling agents check the name of the voter who is about to be given his or her ballot paper on their copy of the voters' roll.
  • If the voter does not exist on the candidates' voters' roll, then there will be no ballot paper given to them for them to cast their vote
  • ZEC should be able to agree to this, because they have stated time and again that Chamisa and all other candidates have the final voters roll, verified by all registered voters.
  • Observers will be on the ground at the polling stations and their attention should be called to any incident where a person who is not on the candidate's voters' roll is said to be entitled to vote by the ZEC polling officer.
It is the most foolproof way to completely stop rigging, especially when we consider that the results will be announced per polling station. It will also remove the risk that "ghosts" will be able to vote on the day because the candidates' agents, observers and ZEC's numbers of people given ballot papers at that polling station will have to all be the same. They will also have to be same with the number of total ballots cast when the counting is done at that polling station.

This is a supremely important point to take note of, because those watching the elections are also asking this very same question. Asking why indeed, Chamisa has to create all this drama when he and all other candidates have the power to guard the doors to the ballot box, to ensure that only those on the roll, real, physical people with IDs that match the IDs that are on candidates' voters' rolls, get to vote.

So you also get the bonus of verifying that each person on the voters' roll that the opposition are suspicious about actually exists.

This could not happen in previous elections at all because Mugabe refused point blank to give the opposition the Voters' Roll. Just refused outright.

It is the main reason why some of us would agree that there is reason to be very suspicious of the 2013 elections.

But the opposition have now been given this Holy Grail. So enough of this already, focus on building confidence in the election, making sure your supporters come out to vote.

But no, Nelson Chamisa wants to continue with all this noise, embarrassing himself at SADC and at the AU.

It is, for some of us, proof that Nelson Chamisa is not interested in a free, fair and credible election. Instead, all this points to the fact Nelson Chamisa is only interested in discrediting this election, in order to make his planned dispute credible, which will lead to loss of a legitimacy for the actual winner of the election if Nelson Chamisa is not the winner.

Has ZEC refused to do this?

No they have not refused.

It is now time to focus on this last mile to ensure that the election  and the ballot is protected on the day. If the intention and the interest is in having a fair election, where those who are beaten are satisfied that they have been beaten fair and square, then this is the route that should be taken.

So why are still talking about migrating Xs, wanting to see the ballot paper etc.

ZEC should also commit to doing what they did during the printing, allow all players to pick a ballot paper at random soon after voting and compare them with the copies they were given at the printing observation, satisfy themselves that it is the same paper used in the final ballot and do any tests they want.

It is unforgivable to be condemning Zimbabweans to a future of poverty, isolation and laughing stock of the world for any one person's ego. Criminal. Especially when there is such a simple, straightforward and watertight process that can still be implemented.

I smell a rat. And the smell is coming from Chamisa's camp.



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