How do ballot papers end up in rubbish bin?

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HARARE – Our beloved and respected Constitutional Court (Con-Court) has made a decision in favour of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), to allow those that did not vote, to vote on July 31, 2013.

I had the privilege of reading the Zec  application and in my opinion, no disrespect or contempt to anyone; it is one that should never have been allowed to succeed.

For starters, what caused the failure of special vote applicants to vote was not the unconstitutionality or any such defect in the law.

Rather it was simply Zec’s own ineptitude and incompetence. How does one approach court with the dirty hands of your own turpitude or bungling?

Secondly, the net effect of the Con-Court’s judgment is to in fact alter the law, that says , once a special vote application has been approved, the applicant cannot vote in any other manner(Section 81 A) of the Electoral Act.

But the Constitution itself is clear. It says the law may not be altered after an electoral proclamation has been made.

Besides, what are the legal and administrative safeguards against double voting by this lot or the one that voted before on July 31, 2013.

Moreover, if we are saying they can now vote on July 31, are we not then confirming, the MDC position that these were not genuine special vote applicants at first instance.

The pile of illegality upon illegality being created in this election is frightening.

The number of persons being forced to do things that they would never do under ordinary circumstances is shocking.

The institutional mistrust that is being created is one that will take our country long to recover from. In a normal country, the Social Contract exists. People trust their institutions.

Their Parliament, their government, their courts, their business institutions, their press, their churches, their civic society, their police and their army.

In Zimbabwe, there has been so much debasement of our institutions. Few trust in them. That is why a lot of us find self- redress and life outside them.

Public institutions are viewed with such deep-seated mistrust. Public institutions are seen to have been hijacked and captured.

These captured institutions then work vigorously in loosely hidden incestuous alliances of power retention, subverting servitude to the people.

Truth justice, impartiality, dignity and honesty is thrown to the dogs.

How do we live with our conscience?

Do we not have eyes in the back chambers of our soul that are still able to distinguish between right and wrong?

I suspect we died a thousand times. We can not distinguish between evil and God and we float, shape without form, shade without colour.

I have been involved intimately in three elections, in this country on behalf of our movement but I must say that this year’s election sets new records in terms of the wayward manner it is being run.

In the past we have faced big challenges but largely of a non- technical nature.

In 2008, our biggest challenge was violence, period. But we had our voters’ roll, we knew the number of ballot papers printed, we knew the polling stations to be used.

2013 is another year, another country. With days to go to the election, political parties have no access to the voters’ roll. Not even Zec itself.

Today they were referring us to the Registrar General Voters, Tobaiwa Tonneth Mudede, whose officers were as deliberate as they were clueless.

With days to go the election, a final list of polling stations is still to be published.

Information is scarce, the election has been privatised.

People have complained about rigging and others thought it was a joke.

The discovery in a dust bin of piles of cast and used ballot papers from the Special Vote did not surprise anyone.

Cast ballot papers for Ward 9 in Harare East were found in a trash can at the HICC by some kind members of the police force who gave them to us.

We know why they were discarded, they were valid votes for our president Morgan Tsvangirai, yours truly and Stewart Mutizwa, the Harare East chairman and candidate for Ward 9.

Can someone out there tell me how cast ballot papers can be found in a bin?

They must think we are big fools, they must think we are so quiet and complicit.

They must think we are fools. Alas this Zec. The great Zec, the people’s Zec.

They are boasting in some circles that they want another GNU, yes to be confused with that little creature called the gnu.

A coalition government functions like a marriage. They must be a modicum of trust, of a common vision and right and obligations that must be respected.

A marriage with no accountability, with only one party honouring its obligations is not on.

A marriage with one party, only nurturing that marriage, providing while the other destroys is not on.

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