The elections took place against the background of a serious political and economic crisis in the country which has lasted for a decade.After brazen use of organised violence and torture of political opponents as Zimbabwe approched the 2008 elections year the SADC facilitated negotiations between the government and the opposition to end Zimbabwes crisis so that Zimababweans can once again live in dignity.
Presient Thabo Mbeki who was mandated to by the SADC to lead the diologue stated clealy that his aspiration was that the March 2008 elections needed to be held in circumstances where the outcome of such would contestable.Even the nogotiations collapsed before reaching their final conculusion, there were some changes in the electoral laws that resulted in visible changes on the ground in terms of election management process as follows:
The accreditation of journalists was smoother and ealier than in previous elections even though the gonernment erred in being selective on whom it invited o observe.
Ther were less queus at polling stations and it looked like the majority of those who wanted to vote and whose names were on the voters roll managed to vote without undue delays or major hassels
The counting and posting of resluts at polling stations .
There were however some ares of concern as well.These will be enumerated in due course as various organisations do their individual and collective election report as necessry.However the biggst concern that has emerged is the inordinate delay in election announcing of the election result.The couting was done immediately after the polls were shut generally around 7 pm on 28 March 2008 at the polling stations.The results were posted at the polling stations immeditely and there is significance corncern at the failure of the ZEC to annonce these results more 36 hours after the voting stopped.There seems to be absolutely no justice for this delay and the tokenistic announcement of results for 109 contested positions by 8am on 1 April 2008 is wholly inadequate.We as Zmbabwean youths are concerned by the failure to announce the results timeously.This creates a founded suspicion in the minds of Zimbabweeans that the authorities are trying to manipulate the results in order to get their prefferd party candidates to win.This is escipecially so given that the opposition has already been expressing public concern at what they saw as measures that were being taken to manipulatethe vote and rig the electionThis delay , if it persist will result in the likelihood of the outcome of the elections being contested and in process undermining what ever small gains may have arisen from the SADC efforts.We are naturally gravely concern that any contestation of outcome of the elections is also likely to lead to escalation of conflict.With the weak rule of law environment that has been well documented before, the elections may trigger seriuos and potentially widespread violations of human rights in Zimbabwe.
We are aware that the Zimbabwean government has deployed police,army and intelligence units into the major cities in anticipation of potential trouble.Of significance concern are the unconfirmed rumours that allegedely from the security branches of govenment that the incumbent is preparing to declare a state of emergency after announcing the inaccurate results.This is consistence with the threats by the security chiefs that hey are not prepared to accept the election results if Mugabe loses the election
I@@##T IS OUR INTEREST AND EFFORT TO MAKE THE REVOLUTION PERMANENT@@##
BY JOHN VINCENT CHIKWARI
REVOLUTIONARY YOUTH MOVEMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Get the name you always wanted with the new y7mail email address.