Election impossible in the dark – Chamisa

HARARE – Zimbabwe must clear the darkness and deal with the electoral conditions before entertaining talk about a free, fair, credible and uncontested plebiscite, says Hon Nelson Chamisa, the MDC secretary for information and publicity. At a public debate hosted by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe on the possibility of an election, Hon Chamisa said while elections were a necessary tool to democratise society they can only be possible when conducted in a climate that is acceptable to all the contestants.\r\n

“The reason why we continue to say that we need to deal with issues of election conditions before any election is held, is because the GPA and GNU was formed to make sure that we clear the political landmines, we demine the electoral route.

“That demining has not begun which is why we are contesting that it would not make any sense to rush into another election. What it would mean is that we would end up without limb,” said Hon Chamisa.

The statement comes in the wake of a barrage of elections rhetoric from Zanu PF that elections should be held even before the constitution has been drafted. He said, even if elections were to be held this year, it would have to be the unfinished presidential elections that was abandoned after Zanu PF waged a reign of terror on the innocent people of Zimbabwe.

“This country should go for the presidential election as opposed to the harmonised elections, because no one contested the Parliamentary seats. “The presidential election is the only outstanding election for now, the rest should be conducted in 2013 with expiry of tenure,” he said.

He said Zanu PF has a strange obsession with Washington and Britain yet these are not the Zimbabwean electorate. “Not even a single Britton or American voted in the previous election but in those elections we have managed to defeat Zanu PF hands down.

“The year 2008 offered Zimbabweans, through an election, a referendum of messages, Zanu PF’s message on restrictive measures and exhausted nationalism and our message on a new Zimbabwe, democracy and justice,that message won, and we are ready to defeat them again,” said Hon Chamisa.

Hon Chamisa said there, however, has been a serious development of an explosive political situation in the country with Zanu PF actively and directly mobilising and sponsoring destabilisation and violence.

He said the demon of violence is being driven and motivated from Zanu PF headquarters as a means to coerce and cowing people into voting them to power.He added that Zanu PF was trying to qualify its failures in implementing sound policies in government by blaming targeted restrictive measures on some of its officials.

“Zanu PF uses restrictive measures as a scapegoat for a deficit of good governance. They want to treat the symptoms without addressing the causes. “They can’t force us as MDC, to look at the symptoms without looking at the cause. “The cause is a deficit of good governance, the cause is human rights abuses, and the cause is black on black oppression, brother on brother repression.

“That is what we are fighting against. Until we are able to resolve that, we will not listen to Zanu PF chorus and rhetoric of talking about restrictive measures which are actually symptoms and not the causes.

“We will never join that chorus; the Prime Minister will not join that chorus because we don’t believe that we need to treat symptoms without treating the causes”.

Zanu PF officials, as driven by greed, have failed to develop meaningful economic reforms for over 30 years except for creating a pitiful atmosphere in the provinces due to political violence and amassing as much wealth as possible for them. “Zanu PF is seized with the last supper mentality, everyone is just thinking about eating wherever he is. In fact they are saying a goat should eat where it is tethered. They are in the
departure lounge; they feel that they are about to go and they don’t care about whatever is there,” Hon Chamisa said.

“So far with our records at Harvest house 1,280 households have been affected by Zanu PF violence in Harare alone. “Either they were displaced from their places of work or displaced where they were sheltered in Mbare.

“We have recorded 218 assault cases and these have been recorded at our party, whether the police have done so is a different issue because we have heard of our people being turned away from the police because they are MDC.

Those that have been arraigned before the courts are 119 including members of parliament who are supposed to be honourable, but because they are MDC they are vulnerable,” he said.

Hon Chamisa castigated the lack of reforms in the public media as it continued to be used as a tool to fan hatred and division in the party. He said there was supposed by now to have been multiple voices in the public sphere to allow for media diversity.

“We were supposed to have licensing of other private broadcasters and that has not happened. “We were supposed to have rationalisation of the public media particularly the ownership of The Herald so that we go back to the mass media trust and we make it a genuinely public owned newspaper not what we have now were it is run by Zanu PF.

You look at the national television, you mistake whether the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is in fact a private television station for Zanu PF,” said Hon Chamisa. The public broadcaster aggresively promotes one political party, Zanu PF, above the others with biased coverage of national events. As a result, Zimbabwe fails to conform to the standards established by the African Charter on broadcasting and the 1999 Windhoek Declaration.

Hon Chamisa shared the platform with Zanu PF’s Chris Mutsvangwa and Mr Kurauone Chihwai, the deputy spokesperson from Ncube’s party.