Ncube: Zimbabwe’s ‘Trinity of Electoral Evil’

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IN Christian religion, the Holy Trinity symbolises spiritual unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the superior motives of saving humanity from the clutches of evil and satanic machinations and thereby doing Godly goodness.
Well below this radar of deity, Zimbabwe chokes in the grip of what is essentially a crisis of political legitimacy borne out of an electoral system which has repeatedly and systematically failed to allow its outcomes to mirror the will of the people. The public lack of confidence in the Zanu PF government’s capacity to bring to an end the long running suffering of the people does not simply arise out of the legendary cluelessness of that government on how to manage the economy of the country, but more out of the public knowledge that the government lacks political legitimacy and also the goodwill of its citizens.
The repeated disputed electoral outcomes over at least the last decade and a half are as a result of systematic electoral fraud perpetrated by our own earthly version of the Trinity of Electoral Evil (TEE) epitomised by crude machinations of Zanu PF, ZEC and one Tobaiwa Mudede in his capacity of Registrar General of voters. This trio has imperilled electoral democracy for the sole benefit of one man – Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
At the heart of the current demands of virtually all opposition political parties is the desire to ensure that when the next elections are held the outcome thereof is palpably and indisputably in sync with the will of the people of this country. If that will be that their misery continues ad nausea under Zanu PF leadership so be it, but no reasonable person must be left in any doubt that that is the will of that amorphous body of beings called THE PEOPLE.
Over the last few years, particularly during the inclusive government, a lot of progress has been made in electoral reform in Zimbabwe. The constitution itself contains some very good provisions setting out an electoral framework that if properly implemented could deliver free and fair elections.
The constitution sets up the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and seeks to guarantee its independence by placing it beyond the control of any person or institution as well as by providing for the appointment of its members via a transparent, open and public process driven by Parliament, save for its chairperson who can be a Presidential appointee. There-in lies the major fault line in the constitutional architecture of ZEC. Historically, it is through its chairpersons that ZEC has been under the captivity of Zanu PF and hence its inability to deliver on the promises of the constitution.Advertisement

Of course there is also the fact that its Secretariat is totally under the capture of securocrats deployed therein from mainly the army and central intelligence organisation. The effect of all this is that the Constitutional Declaration of ZEC as an independent body which must perform the major function of being the referee of our electoral democracy becomes but an unrealised promise – indeed incapable of actualisation as long as ZEC is under direct and indirect captivity.

ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau and her deputy Leticia Kazembe