Monday, October 31, 2005

Zimbabwe's discouraged voting citizens

Months ago, yours truly joined the ranks of the prophets of doom when I wrote that,
"After weeks of speculation about the real reason behind Mugabe & Co.'s cleanup operation, Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette has released the most complete explanation of why the poor urbanites are the real targets behind the exercise. Why are they targets? Because they have denied ZANU-PF control of the urban centers by their vote."
This script is playing out right to the tee in Zimbabwe where hundreds of thousands of displaced voters will not be able to vote.

ZANU-PF is desperate to reign back control of the country so this time, they are not holding back any punches. For that perfectly nasty halloween surprise, the registrar general announced that permanent residents and non-citizens will not be allowed to vote. This means that 150,000 will be struck off the voters role this time around. Desperation, that what this is.

The sad part is that most of these people are eligible voters. After 25 years of hassle free voting, they didn't have very much incentive to process their papers and become citizens. They had voting rights. Now with three weeks remaining, they won't be able to regularize citizneship and register in time to vote. To ensure that none of these potential voters pull of any last minute antics, the list of the abolished names won't be announced until Saturday.

Question; if you knew your government was doing everything it can to keep you from voting instead of protecting your access to this sacred act of democracy, would you be excited to vote? The senate elections will be marred by a low voter turnout, but Mugabe & Co. have no one else to blame but themselves.

Zimbabweans are a discouraged voting public.

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