The Zanu PF Election Campaign
The Zanu PF election campaign is gathering momentum; they have smashed
political structures of the MDC in many districts - especially in the
areas. Over 1000 activists have been detained, beaten and tortured
being tossed out next to some road in the remote rural areas. Most
detentions have been outside the legal system.
They have banned political activities of all types in the main centers
this ban includes a ban on rallies and meetings even held in local
There is a total ban on news about the MDC in the press, the radio and
television. In its place there is a stream of propaganda, much of it
about the MDC and its leadership. They are jamming external radio
Last week a meeting was held with Chiefs from all over Zimbabwe. I
with one of them and he told me they had been addressed by Zanu PF
and had been told not to allow MDC any opportunity to campaign or hold
meetings in their districts. They were threatened that any district
supported MDC in any way would face the wrath of the government.
In the Binga District - long a stronghold of the MDC and one of the
remote and poorest districts in the country, the majority of the Non
Governmental Organisations that are working n the area on humanitarian
support have been instructed to close down and leave. Elsewhere in the
country any NGOís who operate in the rural areas is being told that
humanitarian aid is permitted without the presence and authority of the
Now they are rushing through Parliament amendments to the Constitution
will allow Parliament to appoint Mugabeís successor in the event that
resigns or is removed from office. At present the Constitution provides
fresh elections for the President within 90 days of any such
They are also now hastily extending the numbers of seats in the
and Senate and a delimitation Commission is being appointed. No doubt
will wake up one day and find that constituency boundaries have been
changed, urban seats are linked with rural districts where Zanu PF
thinks their controls are effective. By my estimate, for the first time
our history over half our population now lives in urban areas. Despite
I am sure we will see the number of rural seats increased to reflect
official line that over 70 per cent of the population is rural. There
chance of that being true today.
Behind the scenes you can be sure that they are also working on the
electoral procedures themselves. They will be gerrymandering the voters
roll, setting up a control system for the vote itself - planning a
controlled postal ballot and generally making sure that the vote is
managed and that if required, the necessary false ballots are available
can be deployed at short notice.
Although the President has accepted the SADC initiative in nominal
they know full well what that means if it ever sees the light of day.
this reason they are using every possible opportunity to delay the
and to frustrate Mr. Mbekiís role in the whole exercise. I am sure
behind the scenes, envoys from Mr. Mugabe are fanning out over the
continent visiting leaders and arguing against the SADC initiative.
will be arguing against the South Africans as 'regional bully boys'
making the case that 'everyone hates us because we defended African
interests in the name of our status as a sovereign State'.
The pressure on remaining commercial farms continues despite all the
evidence that they are now the only remaining functioning farms.
Murambatsvina type operations continue against informal settlements,
and business activities. Threats against business in all sectors is
intensified and broadened and soon we will see major new
efforts initiated to use the remaining productive sector as a source of
patronage. Use of the exchange rate mechanism for patronage, despite
destructive influence, continues unabated.
In electoral terms this is a no holds barred, total onslaught on the
enemy number one. The regime is leaving nothing to chance and the only
obstacle is the SADC process now underway.
South Africa and the SADC leadership are going to have to use a very
stick to get this situation sorted out. In the meantime you can be
long as this situation is not corrected and soon, the MDC is sure to
the whole process and Zimbabwe can expect to complete its fateful slide
Bulawayo, 10th June 2007