The fear continues…

The worries about the Zimbabwean elections that are meant to be held in July 2013 still proceed. I do not think that Zimbabweans and  the other countries that are affected by its problems (importing and exporting countries) will be at rest until the final decision is made. Only then will the minds of Zimbabweans and others be able to accept the result and move on with new initiatives, or should I say plans to help the Zimbabwean economy. As of recent, The African Development Bank (an independent bank) said that, due to some areas of the country having too much rain fall and others the opposite, the newly planted grains have been “written off”. Due to this creating food shortage, it has also lead to the escalation of food prices and more and more Zimbabweans relying on food aid. This would mean that more citizens are starving, meaning that they are too weak to do their jobs (if have) to earn money. This is creating a vicious circle that is depleting the Zimbabwean economy even more. Approximately 242 000 tons of staple food is needed in Zimbabwe to keep the citizens/ customers going before there is new harvest.

It is not just the opposing side of Mugabe that are unhappy, but also the people that fall under him. Simba Makoni, a former finance minister under Robert Mugabe is an example of this. He admitted to himself that “the people of Zimbabwe” (including him) basically live on the edge of their seats, implying that they are all in fear everyday. For someone under Mugabes wing to be in fear is surprising, however those whom are not will be in a worse off position. I agree with Mokoni when he stipulates that this fear that everyone is experiencing should be one of the economies main priority to abandon or at least decrease a great amount. Once this fear has been lifted of citizens shoulders, positivity may fall in place and the country may be more at ease. Another down side that should be changed is the dual presidency between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. When there are two very opinionated leaders, with different intentions in mind, this is when the tension levels escalate and the economy (politics and economics) gets out of hand. Makoni described this dual presidency as “pathetic” and “dismal”. These are rather harsh descriptions, as they have not completely let the country fall apart. However, there must be a reason as to why he said this, as the country as well as the leadership is not where it should be at this present time? The fact that none of the conditionality’s that will enable the free and fair elections has been put in place almost reflects the “dismal” leadership provided by Mugabe and Tsvangirai. No wonder the citizens of Zimbabwe are living in fear daily. Anything could happen.

Advertisements

New Constitution?

Zimbabwe has finally got a new constitution – what a relief! Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are both very pleased with the result which is a very thrilling to see as it will not cause further drama and violence between the two parties and the citizens of Zimbabwe. Of course Mugabe is very pleased with the new constitution as he feels he still has so much power and is determined that he is going to win the elections. Hopefully with the new referendum being a great success, the elections that are going to be held will be as smooth and violent free as the voting of the constitution. But unfortunately, I do have some doubt that it is not going to go this way. Elections are a much more bigger event and taken very seriously with great tension between the two parties.

With the many citizens that came to vote (much more than expected), should definitely mean that there will be a greater number of voters when it come to the elections in July 2013. As I have said before, the fact that is Mugabe does win these elections, he could rule for another two, five-year terms (10 years), which would make him 99 years old. Weather you believe it is the correct thing for a government to be ruling a country at this age is up to you. However I feel that it is not particularly a good thing for the constitution for Zimbabwe because someone at that age does not have the correct mental stability to be governing. This will ultimately be very detrimental to Zimbabwe as a country and towards its citizens.  I back myself here by looking at how Zimbabwe, well Mugabe needs help from the United Nations (UN) in order to help him run his country. If he was such a good ruler then he should surly not need help of funds and protection?

 

On the other hand if Morgan Tsvangirai makes an extremely positive change to Zimbabwe, and does not let down the majority of the citizens, the fact that the government can rule for a decade is an extremely clever call. One would think that surely the people are now enough of the violence that goes on Zimbabwe, and that they would try prevent it, but there are still some groups of people that are determined to win, and hurt others. Here is the final draft of Zimbabwe’s new constitution that they will have to abide by.

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

Here is an article from News24 entitled ‘Key points in Zim’s draft constitution’. This is a very relevant news article as the referendum of the constitution is meant to be taking place tomorrow, 16th March 2013. the people of Zimbabwe must be informed as to what they are voting for, as well as the rest of the world to be aware of what is to come.

Police not letting Zimbabwe move forward

ImageThe never-ending problem of violence in Zimbabwe has of course arisen again. The police, whom are obviously supporting President Mugabe’s party, Zanu-PF, aim to intimidate and scare the people of Zimbabwe in order to vote for Zanu-PF, however this instilling of ‘fear’ has now turned into actual physical violence.

It is astounding to see that people whom are suffering from Mugabe’s doings are actually making it worse for themselves. It is as if they enjoy the violent drama and get a thrill from arresting or brutally hurting another human being. The police force can clearly not see that “prominent civil groups” and “human rights monitors” are only trying to improve the country and help proved free flowing elections, not make matters worse.

In saying this, it is very pleasing and encouraging to see that the levels of violence and force have not escalated to the extent of that during the 2008 elections. AFP reported that more that 200 people were killed and many more were affected by either getting arrested, tortured and even disappearing. However, one cannot be too sure of whether the violence is to increase or not.

ImageIt is going against all human rights if the police are able to do this to citizens, and this is where the international community does need to step into place, not necessarily the African Nation Congress (ANC) as Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe are believed to be friends that support one another. A mutual party needs to be the one whom delegates and to try alleviate all tension. Although Mugabe and Zuma are ‘friends’, Mugage and his party can naturally gone again the coalition agreement put together by Southern African leaders. This includes cutting out all violence and spiteful arrests of opponents.

Many people may turn around and blame Tsvangarai for not stepping in and helping the joint governance and for not trying to stop this violence. But after all, Mugabe is the one with the most power in Zimbabwe at this present moment, and he will make sure that anyone who steps in his way will be defeated. In correspondence to this opinion of Mugabe having all the power, I do not necessarily agree with Lovemore Madhuku, chairperson of the pro-democracy group the National Constitutional Assembly. He stated that the problems go further than the government, and that the state has a great amount to do with the issues that Zimbabwe face, such as poverty, financial crisis, and food and petrol shortages etc. As I mentioned earlier, Mugabe has all the mighty and control in Zimbabwe, and so he most probably alters whatever the state my say.

To be honest I do not see what is so wrong with distributing radios? There is obviously something that Mugabe wants to hide and not let anyone else but his community/ society know about? People have the right to hear what is going on if the media is broadcasting it. So yes, Madhuku would most probably be right when saying, “it shows the failure of our society”, and it is clear evidence of what is happening currently and not what is going to happen.

International Community getting involved?

The most recent news on the agenda in Zimbabwe, which was announced the 9th March 2013, it that the leader of MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pleaded to implement the International Community in order to over look the elections and so that all procedures will hopefully try and run smoothly with minimum or no sign of violence at all. It would be a great pleasure and a massive change for the citizens of Zimbabwe to participate in smooth running elections for one, as “ this is Zimbabwe’s most important election since 1980”. Hopefully by allowing the International Community to over look everything, these elections will really be “free, fair and transparent”.

One would think that the MDC has done this in their favour, as they know the power and strength that Mugabe is capable of. You could say that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’ to clarify this point, and you can not blame the MDC party for being worried that the voting of the referendum as well as elections could go sour, as they have done so in the past. If Tsvangirai and his party had to win, and there was an outcry from Mugabe’s side, the MDC will have enough support to lean back on and prove that the elections were fair.

The constitution has also been an expensive and long process, which does not need to be altered by little implications and let it go to waste, which is what the International Community can prevent. The call that Tsvangirai has made here is an extremely clever and vigilant one, showing true leadership skills, which hopefully he can carry through if the elections go his way.

Due to many of the foolish mistakes that Mugabe has made in the past, which led Zimbabwe into an economic or financial crisis, this problem has crept up on us again. As mentioned above, the cost of the referendum and the election that is taking place in July is outrageous, which means that the country will struggle, stated by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti. These mind blowing figures are as follows: US$85 million for the referendum and the elections costing a further US$40 million.  This ultimately means that Zimbabwe is going to also have to ask the United Nations, without hesitance, to assist them through this important time, which may ultimately end Mugabe’s 33 years of power. Biti said that it is vital that Zimbabwe get financial help from the International Community.

This referendum of the new constitution does indeed need to take place this coming weekend, on the 16th March so that the elections in July can happen. It is extremely important and crucial that all runs smoothly with sufficient funds because Zim still has the potential to improve dramatically – definitely in the long run.

Image

Tension continues to escalate a week away

Image

It is extremely pleasing to see that there is still daily news about the happenings in Zimbabwe, leading up to the referendum of the constitution. Not only one newspaper shows concern and interest, but many. It is however extremely sad to see that this fight is still carrying on and that many citizens are still struggling to find peace and comfort in their own homeland. It is going to be a tough few months ahead for the people of Zimbabwe, with the rivalry between the two parties, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu-PF. SAPA reports that the Secretary-general of the MDC party and Minister of Finance Tendai Biti insists that all Zimbabweans that are working in South Africa should come home in order to vote for the new constitution that has been seen as “a miracle” and it is one of the “finest” like South Africa’s.

Biti reiterates the downfall that Zimbabwe was in 2008 when Mugabe won the elections through unfair play and voting strategies. We need to keep reminding ourselves how bad Zimbabwe actually was before the US dollar was introduced and the state many citizens health was in. It was only Zimbabwe that was dealing with these major problems, so surely it has got something to do with the Government? It is very pleasing to see that there is finally a new constitution that has been made and Zimbabwe has a chance of picking up again. In saying this, I have had hope for many years now, but we cannot give up on such a great country. This is why Biti is so concerned with the fact that Zimbabwe citizens must return home in order to vote, because the MDC has a big chance in winning the 2013 elections, and hopefully changing a lot in Zimbabwe, as the MDC has kept positive and have shown a great interest in battles of Zim. The MDC is not a political party, but rather a people’s project, which is extremely encouraging for the people of Zimbabwe as their best interests are being looked after.

I do agree that the joint government that took place in 2009, helped lift the country quite dramatically, however one party needs to be the only one ruling now to get some sort of order. It would be advisable for the people that are struggling in Zimbabwe to go home and vote so that the new constitution can be put to work, and hopefully as Biti said the MDC will win the upcoming elections. Of course there is going to be great tension and conflict which needs to be monitored by fence-sitters, due to the fact that Mugabe is still threatening some of the people to vote from him.

Mugabe knows that he has a very slight chance on winning; after all he is 89 years old and does have mental condition to say the least. One would think and hope that he had already given up by now.  It is encouraging to see the leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC, sticking up for Mugabe and having some sort of faith in him even though he has put his people of Zimbabwe through absolute tragedy. The guidelines of SADC hope to sustain the ‘free, fair and peaceful elections’; however this was ignored on the first day that the referendum was announced.

I believe that Zimbabwe will eventually come right through all the thick and thin and hardship, but once there it would have been worth every conflict (well almost every conflict!).