Archive for the ‘ZEC’ Category

Zimbabwe’ s government of national unity ( GNU )
was born out of political violence in 2008 , and
analysts see its demise occurring in much the
same way.
The two – year -old unity government was formed
on February 11 , 2009 after two rounds of
violent and disputed elections the year before.
It “ was more like a ceasefire agreement
between belligerent forces and very little has
been achieved under that set-up ” , said Philip
Pasirayi , spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition , a grouping of civic organisations .
Although no election has been announced, both
President Robert Mugabe, leader of Zanu PF ,
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, of the
Movement for Democratic Change ( MDC-T ) ,
have created an air of expectation that a
national poll is being planned for 2011 .
“ As expected , following ( President ) Mugabe’ s
call for elections in 2011, the violence
perpetrated by hired Zanu PF hoodlums has
escalated in the past three weeks.
“ This is not at all a result of political protest by
( President ) Mugabe’ s personal party – rather,
this is well -orchestrated destabilisation of the
GNU . . . This will throw the nation back to the
year 2008, ” political analyst John Makumbe
alleged in an article published on February 9 .
“ The party ( MDC-T ) wants elections , but there
has to be an atmosphere existing for free and
fair elections . . . There has to be security of the
person . We are saying ‘ Yes ’ to elections , but
‘ No’ to a bloodbath ,” Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe’ s
Finance minister and also the MDC-T secretary –
general , recently told an international news
agency .
President Mugabe , who has been in power since
independence from Britain in 1980, extended
his tenure after Tsvangirai withdrew from the
second round of the presidential vote in protest
against political violence , but Zanu PF lost its
parliamentary majority in 2008 for the first time
since independence.
Pasirayi said concerns over an election in 2011
had caused the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to
lobby the recent African Union summit in the
Ethiopian capital , Addis Ababa.
They had approached the African Commission,
one of the guarantors of the unity government,
as well as the regional body , the Southern
African Development Community , “ to impress
upon them that Zimbabwe is not ready for
elections until a lot of reforms have been put in
place ” .
“ The few ( reforms ) that have been put in place ,
like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ( ZEC ) ,
have not been adequately resourced to run a
free , fair and credible election. ZEC has said it
needs money to come up with a clean voters ’
roll but the politicians are insisting on fresh
elections ,” Pasirayi said .
“ Our demands are ( also ) that when the
environment for democratic elections is in
place , then they should be supervised by Sadc
and the African Union ,” he said .
A report published in January 2011 by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an
independent monitoring organisation, found
that nearly one -third of the people listed on the
voters’ role were deceased .
The unity government was expected to draft a
new constitution and institute media and
security reforms so that a free and fair election
could be held , but none of these tasks has been
accomplished .
A number of issues remain unresolved and
appear to be intractable. In 2002 the European
Union ( EU ) and the United States imposed
targeted sanctions , including travel bans and
freezing bank accounts , on Zanu PF leaders and
companies linked to President Mugabe for
alleged human rights violations .
Political analyst Gabriel Chaibva said the MDC- T
were “ undermining ” the unity government
process because they had failed to persuade the
EU and US to lift sanctions against the Zanu PF
leadership .
The MDC- T has claimed that the appointments
of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and
attorney -general Johannes Tomana were made
unilaterally by President Mugabe and were in
breach of the Global Political Agreement .
In 2000 , President Mugabe launched the fast-
track land reform programme, which
redistributed more than 4 000 white
commercial farms to landless black
Zimbabweans and sent the economy into a
downward spiral .
In the first quarter of 2009 nearly seven million
Zimbabweans relied on emergency food aid ,
and in 2011 donor agencies estimated that
about 1 ,7 million people would require food
assistance .
Nevertheless , there have been some successes
during the unity government’ s two years in
power, most notably abandoning the Zimbabwe
dollar and introducing a multiple currency
system using US dollars , South African rands,
and Botswana pula , which put an end to
hyperinflation.
In December 2008 Steve Hanke , professor of
applied economics at Johns Hopkins University
in the US , and senior fellow of the Cato
Institute, a Washington -based think -tank ,
estimated Zimbabwe’ s annual inflation rate at
around 6, 5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent
– a 65 followed by 107 zeros .
Education and schooling have been placed on a
more even keel again , and health infrastructure
has improved , but Pasirayi tempered the belief
that all was well in these sectors.
“ Even on the economic front , little has been
achieved , with the bulk of the civil service
earning around US $ 200 per month when an
average family requires US $500 to meet its
basic requirements ,” he noted.
“ A large portion of the population is going
without electricity , while local authorities are
providing poor services to Zimbabweans . ” – Irin

IRIN | HARARE – Feb 16 2011 18 : 05
http://www.newsday.co.zw

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