By Kennedy Kaitano- Addressing a Zanu PF cell meeting recently, the Zanu PF President and President of Zimbabwe, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa, in trying to push for voter registration said “All those who don’t have IDs must come together and you get their names to the councillor so they get IDs….I am saying this as the most senior member in the cell, that once you have all those who don’t have IDs tell me so that I can send a team that will give them registration here”.
A few weeks ago we read of a story in which people mobilised by Zanu PF were getting national registration documents in the middle of night in Masvingo. This exercise had not been publicized, but people had been bussed in to register. This night registration happened at a time when a public voter registration and national registration exercise were in progress.
However, there had been numerous reports that the national programme was deliberately slowing down the process resulting in many people being turned away because the officials closed for the day before they had been attended to.
Analysts believe that the national process was being slowed down to deny people the opportunity to register, and the non-Zanu PF would be disenfranchised because they would not be registered, while the Zanu PF members would be registered through the clandestine night registration exercises.
Comrade Mnangagwa’s statement during the cell meeting when he said “I am saying this as the most senior member in the cell, that once you have all those who don’t have IDs tell me so that I can send a team that will give them registration here” proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the night registration incident that happened in Masvingo which was exposed by alert journalists is an ongoing rigging exercise initiated by non-other than President Mnangagwa.
So the Zanu PF supporters do not even need to present in-person to apply for registration documents, but simply hand over their details to a councillor and the whole process would be done for them? Good on them. Good on President Mnangagwa.
Comrade President, this practice must stop. You are not a national president, you are not a national leader if you orchestrate such blatant rigging shenanigans where genuine citizens who need identification documents are denied registration. Zanu PF supporters without national identification documents would simply submit their names to a councillor, and the next thing they have a national identification document, and they are registered voters. Mr. President you are an international disgrace, and thanks to the media for exposing you, especially your desperate remarks at the cell meeting in Kwekwe.
The task of the opposition and civic society should now be to alert these young people who are being registered clandestinely to vote against such corrupt practice. How can you trust a President who does not follow due process? a President who fraudulently registers voters at night when people who make an effort and spend time in queues to register are shut out? Corruption begets corruption, the young people must be told and should use the voting opportunity to get rigid of corrupt leaders who will ruin their future.
SADC, the African Union, and the United Nations must take President Mnangagwa’s shenanigans seriously and should warn him to stop such corrupt practices immediately. This is not only an abuse of office by the President, but it is an abuse of human rights too.
Those in Zanu PF who receive this message must tell their leader that he has gone overdrive in his corrupt tendencies and must start behaving like a national leader.