By Dr Masimba Mavaza | The absence of women on ballots indicates that elections are not free and fair. Zimbabweans are shocked by a report by the so-called Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Centre for Women and Development.
The obscure group gave a report entitled Statement On Political Violence In Zimbabwe. Firstly, the group started by criticising our local government, and the sad thing is that there are no strong points in the unsubstantiated allegations. The points raised by this group were nonsensical and lackedstrong points.
It is not supported by empirical evidence, as opposed to speculators shooting. Every Zimbabwean is asking, “Who are these people masquerading as Democrats, and on whose behalf are they expressing those views?They have raised five points. They start by saying they are concerned. This brings up the question: Who are you? Do you have locus standi? The people who matter are the citizens. The political parties, the candidates, and business people who have an interest in other stakeholder groups, e.g, war vets. If you say you are concerned, who are you? You are relying on donor funding and wish to show some relevance. They then continue to say that there is violence in Zimbabwe. Violence is not something that can be generalised but should detail the nature of the acts of violence and the victims thereof.
Are there any police reports to that effect, and if so, at which police stations? Does violence only apply to the opposition as victims? So the opposition is so saintly that they should always be on the receiving end.
What is so peculiar about Zimbabwe that the West gets to give it so much attention as to forget that they have Ukraine’s issue to solve?
The question we should ask is, What are they saying about violence? They are saying they are concerned about violence. They are trying to discredit the whole election system with allegations that are so ambivalent. Who are they? The type of allegations that are meant to incite violence The nature of their observation of elections is suspect and should never be tolerated.
They display impaired trust. They are concerned about violence, which has not been proven. We cannot rely on an uninformed organisation. Allegations are imprecise, insincere, and outrageous; they do not mention who or where. These are the weak allegations that are meant to throw dust in the election arena. They are playing with public safety by making unsubstantiated allegations that are meant to incite violence. This is irresponsible and shameful.
They must realise that Zimbabwe has a police commissioner General. Have they approached him, citing each incident? We know they are not intending to because they want to play to the gallery. They are not concerned about elections. They want to justify their existence.
They cannot survive without elections, which is why they say whatever to justify your existence.Judges are being attacked left, right, and centre by the opposition, but they are quiet about it. Is it the practise in an open democratic space that judges are appointed but we close one eye and concentrate on other issues?
We have not encountered the alleged violence issues save for isolated incidents of isolated misunderstandings between individuals that are not even reported to the police. Our police officers, who are rated as one of the best in Africa, if not the whole world, are known for their professionalism.
The United Nations will bear testimony to this, as they have worked hand in glove with them on various international peacekeeping missions. Some have ended up being given permanent positions there. They have always investigated every report with professionalism. We challenge those with evidence to come forward. We hope this is not just a game of soiling others.
They should give us a chance to decide our own destiny without interference. Let observers be observers and not behave like political parties.This is what they never do in the Western world.
ISSUE OF ATTENDING RALLIES.
Rallies are regulated by the police. Zanu PF is an actor; the president is an actor. For the sake of law and order, any actor or party has to apply to the police for authorization. The legal position is that they will approach the courts if they are refused. Sometimes the police get it wrong because they are balancing two important issues. They are balancing a rally with the safety of the public.
Do we demonise the whole system because there are one or two instances where rallies have been barred? There is always a regulator, and the regulator can get it right or wrong. In England, there is a great debate about stop and search. Where is the balance? Do the police always get it right? No. Do they always get it wrong? In any country, a police officer, by virtue of his training, errs on the side of public safety.The most infuriating aspect of this report is that they accuse the supervisory election board, ZEC, of not being independent.There is again no evidence against these outrageous allegations. From time to time, one party gets the other side of fairness.
To cap the foolishness of this group, they say that “We are concerned that there are no women at the ballot box.” Is this a serious organisation? The UK is said to be one of the oldest democracies. Since Magna Carter, it has only had three women as prime ministers, and only one finished her term. The other two were chased like dogs. Only one Thatcher gets into the ballot box. The other two got in by default, and the last one was chased after 69 days.In Australia, they made Ber pregnant, and they gave her a hard time till she resigned.
In Zimbabwe, for 44 years, we have had a woman vice president. We have had Khupe at the ballot box. We have had forty percent women as MPs. This idiot is saying we are concerned that there are no women in the ballot box because if women are not in the ballot box, then elections are not fair.
This issue of women is mentioned because the funders have talked about women and get funding for mentioning women. They don’t love Zimbabwean women. They are saying it to please their funders.
This report is not directed at Zimbabweans. It is directed to their funders. Who do you think you are? The institute itself has an American outlook in Liberia, an American colony.
What’s happening in Liberia at present, with all the American influence, is that it’s still like the rest of poor Africa.This institute is just generic rhetoric without substance.
We have to remind this institute that MDC and CCC were part of the government, and they never moved motions to repeal the said laws. ZANU PF and the CCC are campaigning freely IN Zimbabwe. Zanu PF has its women’s quarter adequately covered, and that has nothing to do with CCC; the opposite is true.
When these institutions talk of the government persecuting people, they are equally including CCC/Zanu and independent candidates.
Whoever drafted the pathetic statement has no clue about the Zimbabwean situation. She is a daydreamer who, by now, has been paid for just the rubbish statement on Zimbabwe.
These analysts must distinguish between mere politics and facts.As Zimbabwe, we must stand our ground. Observers must not blur the lines of how they should operate. They must not be actors but observers.
Giving such an untrue statement amounts to undermining the sovereignty of Zimbabwe. We have our electoral laws, which are respected by us. As Zimbabweans, we detest people who want to prescribe their views on democracy, which we fought for. We cannot accept observers who support a political party and tilt results in their favour.
Zimbabweans must know that the funders of this group are the people who advocate regime change. These observers are the mouthpieces of the funders whom they seek to please.
It is deeply depressing and totally flabbergasting for this organisation to say that there are restrictions on campaigning.
Our police have a duty to dictate when the rallies should start and when they should end. We should not be told by an outsider how to leave. ZEC must be allowed to run the elections without external interference. They must go and observe American elections where Trump is being persecuted.
It should be noted that there is no template for how elections are done. This so-called Ellen Johnson Centre must be reminded that we owe it to ourselves.
We have heard CHAMISA calling for violence under the code We have heard CHAMISA calling for violence under the code name “Defend Your Vote.” [email protected]
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