Zimbabwe Cannot Buy COVID-19 Test Kits, PPEs But It Is Squandering US$100m On Pointless By Elections
16 September 2020
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By Patrick Guramatunhu- “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would like to inform the public that is has lifted with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities following measures taken by the government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the statement from ZEC.

“Electoral timelines for all pending by-elections will be published in the press through notices in due course.”

I strongly object to the holding of these by-elections for four reasons;

  1. Zimbabwe has not been conducting corona virus test at anywhere near the level it should be doing. As of end of July SA had done 3 million covid 19 tests out of a population of 60 million, i.e. test 1 in 20 South Africans. In the same period Zimbabwe had only done 145 000 tests out of a population of 16 million, i.e. test 1 in 110 Zimbabweans or 20% of what SA had done. Zimbabwe’s covid-19 confirmed cases and deaths have remained very low compared to SA but is only because we have not been testing! Likewise, the decision to ease the corona virus restrictions is based on conjecture and not science and reality. Allowing rallies and other political activities to resume will only allow the corona virus to spread.
  1. “The electoral commission (ZEC) lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” the EU Election Observer Mission stated in its final report. “As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standard.” ZEC had failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters’ roll for Pete’s sake! Nothing has change since the rigged July 2018 elections. There is still no verified voters’ roll, no even one of the 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora denied a vote have been registered as voters, the oppressive system that has turned the rural voters into medieval serfs beholden to the Zanu PF leaders and their operatives is still in place, etc.
  1. Zanu PF rigged the July 2018 elections securing the 2/3 parliamentary majority and the presidency; the damage was done then. The by-elections are mainly over the opposition seats and the result will have no effect, Zimbabwe will still be stuck with a vote rigging and illegitimate Zanu PF regime.
  1. There could be as many as 50 parliamentary by-elections alone each costing US$2 million, at least. The by-elections have been triggered by Madam Thokozani Khupe who has been recalling MPs and councillors who have refused to switch loyalty from Chamisa to her. Zimbabwe is failing to mobilise money and resources to but covid-19 test kits, PPE for the covid-19 frontline workers, to ensure there is clean running water for hospitals and clinics, up to 8 million Zimbabweans are facing food shortage, etc. How can we justify splash US$100 million on by-election everyone knows are just a futile exercise!

According to the John Hopkins Research Centre SA has 650 749 confirmed covid-19 cases and 15 499 deaths. If Zimbabwe had been testing, tracing and tracking as aggressively as the World Health Organisation and common sense dictates the country will have 1/4 SA’s figures (give Zimbabwe population is 1/4 that of SA).

So instead of 162 000 or so cases and 3 800 deaths Zimbabwe has 7 531 cases and 224 deaths; all because Zimbabwe has not been testing. The price of not testing and having very low covid-19 figures, probably one of the lowest per capita in the world, is many people with the virus who should have been in isolation have continue to roam free spreading the virus.

Of course, it is insane to relax the corona virus restrictions at the very time when the virus is still spreading and, worst of all,  do so for sake of keeping up the Zimbabwe is a healthy democratic nation appearance. If you are not infuriated by foolishness of this Zanu PF regime, it can only be because you don’t comprehend the gravity of the situation and insanity of it all