Three million ghost voters- what crap?


Zimbabweans have a knack for denigrating themselves and their country. For what purpose, one cannot understand because some people are going to lengths to get residence in this beautiful country.

A political researcher whose “views are based on six years of study of electoral theft in Zimbabwe”, which makes this qualify for a PhD thesis, says the country has three million ghost voters.

His argument is that Zimbabwe has 5.5 million registered voters and normally only 2.6 million people actually vote, so the remainder are ghost voters who the author claims the military secretariat within the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has already bagged for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

To imagine that the ZEC went on a registration exercise for months and opposition parties and electoral watchdogs complained that the number of people that had registered was too little, or off target, as the ZEC had estimated that seven million will register, does this mean that if the seven million had registered, Zimbabwe would have ended with 5 million ghost voters?

This is really an insult to the people’s intelligence. Granted, people are entitled to their opinions but they should not pass these as “studies”.

Coming to the elections, Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly for the current constitution. It is very clear about the electoral time-table. It has timeframes which every serious politician knows.

For more than a year, parliamentary watchdog, Veritas Zimbabwe, has been reminding Zimbabweans about the election timetable even arguing that Zimbabwe cannot have elections in March. It clearly stated that the earliest Zimbabwe could have elections under the constitution is 23 July which is 30 days before the expiry of the current President’s term of office.

For anyone to now say people were ambushed when they knew the election date five years ago, and when they were complaining that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was delaying announcing the election dates really boggles the mind.

It appears that all some people want is to discredit the coming poll.

Zimbabwe has never had such a peaceful atmosphere in the run-up to an election, now only three weeks away.

Critics, used to violence, candidates tearing each other apart, rallies banned, now seems to have run out of excuses to discredit the elections. Now they are going for the ballot papers, dead voters, over-age voters, the militarized electoral system, was the system any better in 2008 when Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat ZANU-PF both in the presidential and parliamentary elections?

Who benefits from disputed elections? It is definitely not Zimbabweans.

Why can people not just let the law take its course and allow the elections to go ahead? If there are disagreements within the political parties themselves, as shown in the primary elections, the party splits, why would one expect opposing sides to agree?

Maybe Zimbabwe’s problems is that too many people have made politics a career and have no other career that they can talk about- something that shows that they are capable of earning a living from their own hands or brains other than politics.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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