Thursday, September 07, 2006

No money for democracy

Against a backdrop of government splurging on new parliament decor and, a new presidential mansion, expensive SUV's for Reserve Bank officials and much more finicky exhorbitancy, the Herald is reporting that Mugabe's government has no money to register new voters;
THE Registrar General’s Office has no money for mobile registration of voters, national identity cards and birth certificates while foreign currency shortages hamper the production of passports.

Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede told the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Home Affairs on Tuesday that his office was so under-funded that it had not started its yearly mobile registration because it did not have the money.

"We do that every year and we could have started in August but there is no money," he said.

"What this means is that a person who has attained 18 years can not vote because he is not on the voters’ roll and this should be a concern to politicians," he said.

Mr Mudede said the shortage of foreign currency was seriously affecting operations as some consumables could not be bought to produce passports and the new national registration cards.
If democracy is based on the notion of each individual exerting their influence on who leads them via one's vote, the notion is too expensive for Zimbabweans.
Don't take this for granted. This public admission might well signify the modus operandi of ZANU-PF's fraudalent activities around the presidential elections coming up in 2008. If you go back and scrutinize the MDC's numerous electoral petitions, one constant theme threading through all the protests is an allegation of tampering with the voters role.

Do you see what I mean? This very article might be the scapegoat employed when ZANU-PF 'influences' the outcome of the elections.

There's a heartwrenching side to this too. Notice that it is the rural population that is essentially being disenfranchised. Not a big deal? I think not. In Zimbabwe, most of our population is rural. These people are the heart and soul of our democracy. That they aren't even guaraneteed a birth certificate, national ID card and access to voting is beyond unfathomable! Rural Zimbabweans are constantly getting the shortend of the stick; when the currency switch happenend just a few weeks ago guess who was stuck with their old currency because they don't access to media that would have informed them of the change? Guess who walks the longest to school and medical facilities? The government has ensured that 26 years after independence these people live like paupers even though they are the most important segment of the electorate.

The sad thing is that it would be so easy to meet the needs of Zimbabwe's longsuffering rural population. It's not asking the world to expect that the nation's sole broadcaster would expend it's broadcast capacity to extend full coverage to all Zimbabweans for example. Requiring space in the national registry is not demanding the moon either. These people must have the same access to government function enjoyed by their urban countrymen it is non-negotiable.

After Murambatsvina over a year ago Jonathan Moyo Zimbabwe's controversial former information minister slapped the Mugabe regime with a stark new label. He claimed that we have in Zimbabwe isn't governance anymore, he it is now GBO; Governnance By Operation. He was right, Mugabe & Co. are not doing anything more than making hollow policy pronouncement all while the country burns.

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