There have been crimes against humanity during the harmonized election a few months ago and only little public attention has been received. The government has made no effort to hold the perpetrators accountable. A concerted regional effort is needed urgently to bring both high and low-level perpetrators to justice.
BY BRIGHTON GEORGE MANHANZVA – POLITICAL ANALYST
ZANU-PF supporters who carried out the attacks, including members of the “youth militia” and former soldiers in Zimbabwe’s war of liberation known as “war veterans,” identified themselves to their victims. It is also sad to note that the only women targeted were supporters of the opposition party headed by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Well, first off here is how it all started: On the 29th day of March 2008, a parliamentary election was held in Zimbabwe to choose members of the House of Assembly and the Senate. This led to the humiliating defeat of the once dominant and the only ruling political party since we gained our Independence in 1980. The Movement for Democratic Change won by a big margin even though media reports claim that no one won decisively.
This led to a run-off Presidential election that was scheduled for June after the election results were delayed for nearly two months without any apparent reason, (the only way that Zanu-Pf could mingle around with the figures and start a wave of terror campaigns I suppose, and I think they deserve an OSCAR for it).
The outcomes of polls conducted in 2000, 2002, 2005 and even all the earlier elections before the millennium years were announced within 24 hours. The March 29 polls were the first time in the whole world where it took more than a month to be announced. The U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that the delay in announcing election results can only be seen as a deliberate and calculated tactic and said that it gives substance to the suspicion that the authorities are reluctant to accept the will of the people.
Losing patience, the MDC announced that they had won the elections and the ruling party had lost basing its tally on the results that were posted outside the polling stations. Tendai Biti, the Secretary General of the MDC-T also claimed that Morgan Richard Tsvangirai was the next president of the country without a runoff. “It is highly unlikely that people’s decisions will be reversed in a runoff and a runoff serves no point other than to embarrass certain elderly quarters of this population.” Biti said.
The deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga (Zanu-PF) countered Biti’s comments by saying that the government may take action if the MDC’s claim of victory leads to popular protests. He also added by saying that the MDC have no capacity to defend their well-being if they wanted to provoke the police and army and warned them to be very careful. In the end, Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai had to flee to South Africa fearing for their lives.
There is so much to talk about regarding this historic Zimbabwean election but as of now, all I can see is the mirror image of the events that are happening in Kenya where there is a deal for the creation of the cabinet that was finalised on April 13, 2008, followed by the appointment of Odinga as prime minister on April 14 and the swearing-in of all members of the cabinet on April 17. Is this where we are heading as well or maybe Robert Mugabe will do what he knows best and that is “disrespecting the will of the people”?
Time is not on my side now and I am actually filled with this kind of anger inside my heart. I am only left with a million and one questions that need answers but there is only one question that I would want you the reader to help me with… ARE WE EVER GONNA GET RID OF MUGABE AND HIS CRONIES IN A DEMOCRATIC AND PEACEFUL MANNER? Mind you this man has publicly announced that the “Bullet is mightier than the pen”. So there you go my fellow comrades, your imagination is just as good as mine.