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African Tears Beyond Tears Innocent Victims Imire Can you hear the drums, by Cathy Buckle


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More voters than real people
July 6, 2013, 10:26 am

 

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s that time of year when the grey Louries sit up in the trees and scold, repeatedly, telling you to go away. There’s no hiding from them and every time you step outside the message from above is the same: Go Away!  It’s a sentiment that was echoed in our constitutional court this week when  Zimbabwe as good as showed two fingers to SADC  and effectively told them to ‘go away’ as  it dismissed applications for a delay in the date of elections. A couple of days later when launching Zanu PF’s election manifesto in a five hour, live, uninterrupted ZBC TV broadcast, Mr Mugabe went further. Referring to SADC’s recommendations for elections in Zimbabwe, Mr Mugabe said : “If SADC decides to do stupid things we can move out and withdraw from SADC.”

 

And so the date is set whether we like it or not; whether the processes and reforms have been followed or not. On the 31st July 2013 we will go to the polls in what are ironically called ‘harmonized’ elections although there’s never anything even remotely harmonious about elections in Zimbabwe.  There’s been nothing harmonious about two voter registration processes which have been unable to get to the end of the queues and left countless people angry, frustrated and disappointed.

There’s also  nothing at all harmonious about the voters roll which the Registrar General said had  6,082,302 names on it as of the 30th June 2013. Allegations of voters roll irregularities are growing by the minute. The Daily News’ had front page headlines this week saying:  “Election rigging underway… hired Israeli Firm tampering with voters roll.”  

Even more chilling  was the report from Harare's Research and Advocacy Unit which has looked at discrepancies between the voters roll and last year’s population census. The RAU found that 63 constituencies out of 210 had more registered voters than the number of inhabitants counted in the 2012 census. RAU also found 2 million young adults not registered as voters, a figure which throws into serious question the number of voters the Registrar General says were on the roll last week.  It looks like once again we’re a country with far more voters than real people

That all of this happened in the same week as millions of Zimbabweans woke up to find that their satellite television channels from South Africa and Botswana had been scrambled seems impossibly coincidental. ‘ Scrambled’ was the angry buzzword everywhere but it soon left even more people following the infamous Baba Jukwa Facebook page. Baba Jukwa’s stunning revelations about  corruption and dirty deals in government circles have become the latest obsession in Zimbabwe and have attracted  50 thousand new followers in the last fortnight alone, resulting in  217,000 followers as I write, and rising every day.  

Comfort at the end of a bad week came from MDC Finance Minister Tendai Biti who  wrote on his Facebook page:  “The plan is to rush into an election that will be stolen and then invite us into the elite madness of another GNU. What crass madness, The people will not be betrayed. This economy is suffering. Zimbabweans are suffering. The crises cannot be prolonged. The people want to deliver their knock out blow. Zimbabweans want to be free. The next few days will decide our fate ,watch them closely. Every second is history .”

We are watching, every second. God save Zimbabwe. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.



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