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What more must Zimbabweans do?

What more must Zimbabweans do? This question was posted at This is Zimbabwe blog. Bev Clark, blogging at Kubatana blog responds, “…a helluva lot.” Bev argues that unseating a dictator does not only take place through an electoral process:

It does not, and in fact we’ve tried that a few times. Sure there needs to be an election to expose – what is so clearly being exposed – the work of Rigger Mugabe. But it doesn’t end there. A stolen election needs to be backed up by strong civic resistance. And usually its a good idea to have civic resistance guided by strong leadership. This is where Plan B comes in – the elephant in the room as far as the political opposition and civil society is concerned.

There is absolutely no question that the MDC has worked hard and campaigned strongly, but this is not enough. The MDC must prepare their supporters for resistance and be willing to lead them. Clear leadership from the MDC will mitigate spontaneous and sporadic violence. Civil society organisations must ignite their memberships (if indeed they actually have them) and lead them in defense of their vote. The international community must be prepared to speak out and support democratic change in Zimbabwe.

Here are some of the voices of the people:
We have tried the democratic route more than three times now and the election has been stolen. We have tried the courts, and up to now Tsvangirai does not have a verdict for an election of 2002.We have no choice but to go beyond “round 2” and we have to exercise people power. Odinga asserted himself and the world stopped and listened. Politics is about making the appropriate judgments and if Tsvangirai thinks the international community is going to give us independence then he will remain in opposition forever. Way Forward: Let’s reclaim State House, its unoccupied anyway!!!

Marko Phiri sees the possibility of people being pushed into “wild orgies of protests”:

But one has to take the pulse in the urban streets since the 29th of March – the people have had it, and if they are not pushed to anarchy and wild orgies of protests then it remains in the domain of the esoteric as one attempts to decipher why Zimbabweans will never rise and claim their right to a better life.

He also writes about a man playing protest music at his “beer garden”:

Blaring from the speakers of a public address system with the din reaching more than 5 five neighbourhood streets is music which is likely to earn the man spinning the discs a thorough beating from the thought police. He plays Hugh Masekela where he exhorts by name African despots – including our very own – to cede power and retire peacefully; he plays Mbongeni Ngema’s Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow, from the Sarafina soundtrack; he plays Thomas Mapfumo’s Jojo; he plays that Oliver Mutukudzi classic Bvuma. And I am like, “What the %*$#? This is Sunday where those who voted and those who didn’t are at the pub imagining they are whiling away minutes expecting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission tobegin the announcement of Saturday’s polls and here is a guy nailing his colours to the mast giving patrons – and whole neighbourhoods – his thoughts about the current affairs.

Still Here conducted an informal survey at a supermarket:

I went to the supermarket today to peruse the empty shelves. What fun.

While there, I decided to run an informal survey.

I asked 9 people what they would do if Bob gets in.

6 answered they would leave the counry; 1 said she would follow me wherever I went; and only 1 said he would march on State house.

I wonder if the 6 who are leaving have already cut their hole in the fence and what area of crime they will be forced to enter in their unwelcome destinations?

Dewa Mavhinga questions the credibility of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC):

Because of the highly suspicious behaviour of ZEC of taking too long to announce official results, there are genuine fears that Mugabe and ZANU PF want to subvert the will of the people and silence the people who have spoken through the ballot by fixing figures and announcing that Mugabe and ZANU PF as winners. There are rumours now swilling in Harare that security chiefs are in marathon meetings preparing to rig elections and prepare to crush any challenge to their electoral fraud.
I must say the conduct of ZEC is reckless and inconsiderate as it puts the nation at risk of a Kenya style revolt as the absence of official results for no apparent reason creates tension and anxiety in the people. It is criminal and treasonous for security chiefs to interfere with the counting of the vote and the announcements; security chiefs must be warned that days of lawlessness and mayhem in Zimbabwe are over. In a new Zimbabwe we will hold them to account for their actions. If Zimbabwe’s army and police think that they can hold the nation hostage they are dreaming; no-one can stop the wind of change that is sweeping across Zimbabwe, not Mugabe, not Chihuri, and not Chiwenga. Mugabe has said his conscience will not let him sleep if he steals an election (l wonder how he has managed to sleep since 2000), so he must heed his conscience and do the honourable thing of respecting the will of the nation. Zimbabwe needs a new political leadership with fresh ideas. Zimbabwe cannot move on with Mugabe at the helm; Mugabe must go, and he must go now before he plunges our beloved country into chaos and bloodshed.

Izzy wonders why a simple arithmetic takes over 48 hours. He advices voters to email and phone ZEC to complain:

Email the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) at zecpr@gta.gov.zw or phone them on +263 4 781 903 to complain about the unacceptable delay in announcing the results.

Amanda Atwood analyses the results:

As it stands, based on our own tally of results, Zanu PF has the largest number of votes of any party, but the combined other contesters outstrip Zanu PF.
These results have been recorded by hand off the ZEC announcements, and then transposed onto a spreadsheet, so some errors may have been made along the way, but it looks something like this:
• Total votes cast: 1,184,723
• Zanu PF: 555,189
• MDC (Tsvangirai): 492,346
• MDC (Mutambara): 94,560
• Combined Independents/Other parties: 42,628
So Zanu PF is ahead. But if you add up all non-Zanu PF votes, they don’t look quite so comfortably positioned:
• Zanu PF: 555,189 (46.9% of votes cast)
• Total non-Zanu PF votes: 629,534 (53.1%)
In other words, at least at a House of Assembly level, with 109 of 209 constituencies reported (one constituency was uncontested, and was declared for Zanu PF without an election), Zanu PF has more votes than any party, but not an absolute majority of votes cast.

According to This is Zimbabwe, the results show that the opposition will control the House of Assembly:

These results clearly show that the opposition coalition now enjoys a majority control of the House of Assembly. However, please be aware that should Mugabe steal the Presidential vote, according to the constitution he would have the power to dissolve the House of Assembly.
Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) results have been compared to the “official” Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) figures. The “official” results are emanating from the government controlled body at a snail pace and indicate massive discrepancies in certain constituencies, a clear sign Zanu PF is desperately attempting to inflate results in their favour. This is being done to reduce Morgan Tsvangirai’s presidential vote to below the 50% plus 1 result required for him to win the race in round one.

Izzy writes about the Independent Results Center, a group that has been posting election results on its website based on reports from their agents on the ground:

In 2008 a secretive group of compatriots may have gotten the jump on Mugabe they came prepared and knowing Zimbabwe's electoral law they knew results would be posted as bulletin outside every polling station. The group deployed trained polling agents, equipped with phones and cameras, throughout the country on election day Saturday, and they counted voters and took photographs of voting results pasted up at voting stations (a previously unobserved requirement of voting regulations). The information was sent via text messages or satellite phone to a call center in South Africa, where it was collated and posted at www.zimelectionresults.com for all to see. “These will be archived on this Web site later as forensic evidence,” the site says.

This is Zimbabwe and The Bearded Man are also posting latest election results.

4 comments

  • […] some perspectives from the ground, Ndesanjo Macha has a roundup of Zimbabwean blogs titled, “What more must Zimbabweans do?”, quoting from a blog post from activist Bev […]

  • We are praying for the people of Zimbabwe.

    Living Hope In Jesus
    http://www.livinghopeinjesus.com

  • Meja Zimondi

    Nothabo, when our beloved 30 000 were murdered by the Gukurahundi, Mugabe was never punished. The West looked aside and said well thats the independence they wanted. But when Mugabe started grabbing the farms and displacing their thick and thin(fellow whites) he was labelled a dictator and hence a call for regime chenge.

    So Nothabo what makes you think just for election results the world will help. No! there is no oil in Zimbabwe. We have seenn it in Uganda, Rwanda and recently in Darfur and Kenya. Now SA IS ON THE SAME PATH OF LAND CONTROVESY , NO WONDER Mbeki is suffering from action paralisis.

    AK IS THE WAY,

    When all fails everybody resorts to prayer but in politics the burrel of the gun is the ultimate solution.

    ‘When peaceful change is made impossible, violent change is inevitable’.

  • […] The Global Voices project has coverage. This is an interesting non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, […]

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