Human Rights Watch says GNU In A “Race Against Time” To Implement Reforms Before Elections!

January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report Titled “Race Against Time – The Need for Legal and Institutional Reforms Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections”, calls on the GNU to implement the institutional and legal reforms required to create an environment conducive to holding free and fair elections.

Whilst MDC has grudgingly agreed that the reforms are necessary; the party failed to account why, after five years, it has failed to have even one of the reforms implemented and, more pertinently, when it will the reforms ever be implemented with elections just months away?

HRW is to be highly commended for producing this important report. The truth of the matter it is near impossible to deliver free and fair elections even if the GNU was to be given another 12 months to do the preparatory work for two main reasons:

1) The situation is back to front; all the reforms should have been implemented first and then the new constitution drafted to include the reforms to give them constitutional foundation. As things stand the Copac draft constitution is being finalized and will be submitted for national approval or rejections and yet it is silent or too weak to be any use on all issues requiring democratic reforms.

2) The GNU has always lacked the political will to meaningful carry out the democratic reforms. It was naive to expect a democratic consensus to emerge out of grouping in which one member has dictatorial power. The GPA grant Mugabe the dictatorial powers and little wonder he has abused these powers to ensure the GNU does not deliver on its main set task of free and fair elections.

Given time, a year and half at most, all the necessary democratic reforms and institutional changes can be implemented and the Copac draft constitution amended to suit.  No amount of added time will do anything to transform Mugabe from a tyrant to a democrat; he and his cronies have simply too much loot and too many hidden skeletons to allow the full democratic glare to shine on Zimbabwe’s past.

Since Mugabe was sworn in as State President in June 2008 and could save a maximum of five years, he cannot extent his rule beyond June 2013. This dysfunctional GNU has dragged out the full five years of its worthless existence.

All the parties in this GNU want to do now is have the fresh elections; they accept they had been enjoying their time on the gravy train too much and neglected the set task of ensure next elections are free and fair. Frankly none of them are particularly concerned that the orgy of violence of 2008 should be repeated – as long as they are never caught up in any of it themselves as the victim, particular if they went on to win the valued-above-1000s-of-human-lives seat on the gravy train.

It is because of the unacceptable cost in life and limb and materials and, worse still, that fraudulent electoral process will never produce a competent government that everything possible must be done to ensure the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair and nothing short!

This dysfunctional GNU has deliberately failed to carry out its task of implementing the reforms and thus ensure the elections are free and fair and democratic credible. Mugabe deliberately ensured the GNU failed because he knew Zanu PF would never win free elections and Tsvangirai deliberately neglected honoring his promise to bring change because he did not want to bite the hand that fed him now that he was enjoying the luxuries of being on Mugabe’s gravy train.

The referendum on the Copac draft constitution is essentially a referendum on whether the GNU will deliver free and fair elections.  The answer is a big NO and the nation must vote accordingly!

It is interesting to note that whilst HRW has castigated the GNU for wasting the nation’s time, money and human misery and lives all these last five years in what is clearly a wild-goose chase; local NGO and civic groupings were tripping over each other to be involved in the Copac Second All Stakeholders’ Conference. The lack of credible local NGO and civic society has not helped open the democratic space in Zimbabwe!

2 responses to Human Rights Watch says GNU In A “Race Against Time” To Implement Reforms Before Elections!

  1. The Zimbabwe Gvt will spend US$ 9 million on voter registration exercise!

    Zimbabwe must have 4.5 million voters on the ground and so it is going to cost a cool US$2.00 to get each voter on the voters roll. For a nation so broke 50 000 students were forced to end their schooling in September 2012 alone for lack of funds; we sure have money to burn. Surely, surely there must have been a cheaper and more cost effective way of voter registration!

  2. @Maswerasei
    The GPA was about implementing democratic reforms to ensure the political violence that had marred the 2008 would not be repeated and the next elections are free and fair and the results a true reflection of the democratic will of the people.

    The reforms include media reforms to ensure there was freedom of exppression and a free media. This has not happened; the public media is still an extension of Zanu PF bombarding the nation with party propaganda. The private media still has the oppresive laws like AIPPA and POSA hanging over it.

    The other reform was security sector reform to end the failed prevailing system where Police Officers do nothing when Zanu PF attach someone wearing an MDC T-shirt for fear that if they do they may lose their jobs.

    It is nonsense to talk of free and fair elections without a free media and with no law and order. It is folly for the people to accept yet another fraudulent election!

    This GNU has clearly failed to do what was necessary to deliver free and fair elections; they should step aside and let others with the political will and vision to do what needs to be done. This GNU is finished, the writing is on the wall!

    Zimbabwe’s next elections will be free and fair and truly democratic! But before that happens the people will reject this Copac rubbish and they will! Watch this space!