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Pakistani and Zimbabwean Elections and the Common script writer. By Raja Zeeshan

6 years ago | 11787 Views

Elections were held in Pakistan and Zimbabwe recently. There are several similarities in these elections and more shockingly have some parallel judicial and administrative roles in both the countries. The Pakistani elections were held on 11th May 2013 and the Zimbabwean elections were placed on 31st July 2013. It is important to review Zimbabwe’s political history in order to enlighten everyone about common scripted election campaigns and its fallouts on both the countries.


In 1980, there was a transition of minority rule at the end of the Zimbabwe Liberation War. The Zimbabweans were granted independence on 18th April 1980 by the United Kingdom ceremonially in accordance with the Lancaster House Agreement. Mr Canaan Sodindo Banana was the first Zimbabwean President (18th April 1980 to 31st December 1987) and Mr Robert Mugabe was the first Prime Minster of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987. However, this was the beginning of Robert Mugabe’s era of power as in 1987 he was elected as the President of the country and has been in power since then. Robert Mugabe was also considered the hero of the Zimbabwean movement. He is the head of the ruling party called as ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African Nation Union Patriotic Front).


In 1999, there was a new political party known as MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) came into the front with the slogan to bring change in Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe seriously started believing that they had given enough chances to Mugabe to bring economic stability in the country but he failed. The MDC was headed by a revolutionary leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He started his political career in 1980 at age of 28 under the supervision of his major opponent Mr Mugabe. He was considered one of the main players of ZANU-PF.


However, in the late 90’s he decided to quit from ZANU-PF and launch his own political party to confront the dictatorship of Mugabe as he failed to bring development and growth in the country. Tsvangirai faced three attacks, and in one of the incident his wife and his body guard were killed. He also faced torture by the ruling powers that were against any other political party apart from ZANU-PF.


In 2008, MDC finally managed to bring many seats in National Assembly to share power with ZANU-PF. Both the parties have been in coalition since 2009 after the last election sparked widespread violence. Mr Morgan Tsvangirai took the oath as the second Prime Minister of the country under the presidency of Mr Mugabe. This power sharing caused more destruction in the country as the critics believed that ZANU-PF got a greater chance to demonstrate that MDC is unable to run the government and is an inexperienced party that cannot bring stability in the country. Many of the Members of Parliament from MDC were targeted. However, by the end of this power sharing, people were still in the favour of Tsvangirai element in the Government.


Before the recent elections of 31st July, the people of Zimbabwe were hoping to give a clear majority to MDC. The MDC slogan was to build a new Zimbabwe and to bring a revolutionary change. The huge numbers of Zimbabweans were passionately participating in election gatherings of MDC. Tsvanirai was told that his life is in danger and he should restrict his election gatherings which he refused to do so and continued all his movement.


On the other hand, President Robert Mugabe kept saying that only an experienced party can bring revolution in the country and that he will get a two third majority. Interestingly, he also blamed MDC to destroy the country as they were in coalition with him since 2008. Moreover, he had been in power since 1980 so he was considered justified to blame someone.


The outcome of 31st July election was in contrast to the people’s will and ZANU-PF won 158 seats out of 210, which means a clear two third majority in the general elections. The statistics shows that 61% of votes were cast to ZANU-PF and 34% to MDC. However, the record 60% turnout was recorded in this election that was clearly supporting MDC.


The MDC has rejected the results of the elections in response and filed the election petition under the Section 93 of the Zimbabwean Constitution to declare these elections null and void. The nine members of Supreme Court of Zimbabwe have up to 14 days to respond to the legal challenge. In the petition the MDC has mentioned 15 objections and pleaded to the Court to order for the re-election in 60 days. The MDC has also registered their complaint against the judicial officers and the Election Commission of Zimbabwe.


The critics believe that this was the most rigged elections in the history of Zimbabwe. The MDC believed that both local and International media was biased and was in favour of ZANU-PF. They claimed that they issued many fake surveys in the favour of ZANU-PF before the elections. They alleged that the rigging was made possible through violence, media biasness, and manipulation of the voters’ role leading to the abnormally high pro- Mugabe turnout in some areas.


Conversely, the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe Justice Geofery Chidyausiku is also known a silent supporter of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. He has made many controversial decisions which made him into the category of a biased Chief Justice. He has been the CJZ since 2001. He has a great role to legalize many acts of ZANU-PF. He has a political background with ZANU-PF and had been served as a member of the Parliament as well. Morgan Tsvangirai also stated that some of the judges believed to be Mugabe’s loyalist.


In the light of above common script to all Pakistanis, let us assume what might happen next?

1)  

        The SCZ will pass the MDC election petition to the Election Commission of Zimbabwe with the justification that Supreme Court is not the relevant office for this petition.

2)   

         The Chief election commissioner will resign from his post as he would make an excuse that SCZ is essentially the relevant forum to resolve this issue.

3)      

       The MDC leader Robert Tsvangirai will give another month to SCZ to respond to their petition.

4)     

                 As soon as Tsvangirai would feel that nothing has happened to their petition, he then would ask for the four constituencies to be investigated and would agree to the results there on, in order to support the democratic system. However, he would eventually demand the scrutiny of thumb impressions of the votes that are casted so that the future elections be protected against any rigging or scheming.

5)    

             However, if the SCZ will not listen to anything to that Tsvangirai has demanded, he then can declare the role of judicial officers as “Shameful”. Interestingly, on a very next day, he would receive a Contempt of Court notice by the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe Justice Chinyaniku.

6)    

             During the court hearing of the contempt notice against Tsvangirai, the Chief Justice would say that as we had already sent your petition to the Election Commission so there was no reason to make press conferences and to declare judiciary role as “Shameful.”  The CJZ would say “oh you even don’t know what you have said. You mean we are Shameful?” Tsvangirai would say no my Lord the role of judicial officers was shameful. Then, the court will give a chance to Tsvangirai to apologize, whereas he would refuse and focuses about his petition. The CJZ then would say “Ahh actually we are quite busy in handling 20,000 other matters so you must have had requested this matter to be heard on urgent basis.”


However, if the Zimbabwean Supreme Court does not follow the above pattern and do decide to hear the election petition made by MDC on merit and accordingly if it is proved that the elections were rigged with the clear evidence then their court can declare these elections as null and void and can order a re-election in 60 days. As a result, it could be a new era in Zimbabwean history. People will forget the past of CJZ and this decision will set an example of independence of Judiciary. The term Independence of Judiciary means that the Judiciary is free in its judgements without any influence or power. Independence of Judiciary does not depend on the long marches and a mere restoration of an individual.


Therefore, this is a great chance for the Zimbabwean Supreme Court to demonstrate that they are not following any common script. Another interesting point in this case is that if the Zimbabwean Supreme court does declare the re-election in the country then how it could impact Pakistan. The Pakistani Judiciary claims to be an independent in its decisions. Suo Moto action is the symbol of independence in the higher judiciary. This Judiciary needs to be very careful on taking Suo motos eventually. The actions should be taken on malevolence practices rather than to indulge into the meaning of complicated words such as “Sharamnak.”


There is difference of claim by the opposition parties in Zimbabwe and Pakistan. The MDC denies to accept the outcome and only wish for re-election in the country within 60 days because of the massive rigging whereas, the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek e Inssaf) demands investigation in only four constituencies. However, even if the Zimbabwean Supreme court does entertain the election petition without sending it to the election commission then for what reasons the higher judiciary in Pakistan refuses to entertain the same petition in terms of investigation? Would it then mean that Zimbabwean constitution is more flexible towards the justice system in the country? The objection to the response of contempt of court clearly demonstrates that the Judiciary in Pakistan does not seem willing to resolve the issue in four constituencies and would rather prefer to indulge in storytelling and would like to remain in the boundaries of the word “Shramnak” (Shameful).


The end result is that it is surprising to note a striking familiarity between the election campaigns and its handling between both of these countries. In both of these countries the elections were declared as the most rigged one of their histories. The ruling parties got an unexpected two third majority. The role of judiciary and election commission is unsatisfactory and not up to the mark to fulfil their responsibilities (Not shameful as it is declared as an extremely abusive word and is condemned to be used by His Lordship).

In both the countries, a new party raised the slogan of “New country” to bring change from its previous ad hoc practices, like “new Zimbabwe” and “New Pakistan”. The ruling parties were the traditional parties and have been in power for decades in both the countries. Now the question arises that what are the reasons that in both these countries the traditional or ruling parties have local and International media support? Why the western countries believe that only ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe and PMLN in Pakistan are the right stake holders and deserve to govern? What changes these parties will bring into their countries, despite the fact that their major players are already in politics for the last many years?


The 89 years old newly elected Zimbabwean President has already destroyed the economy of his country, will he bring something different after the controversial victory in these elections? A third term Prime Minister who still needs his brother to help him address into the International forums, will bring something revolutionary after this victory in Pakistan? Only time will tell better, nevertheless, one thing is evident that there is a common script writer in the International scenario who pass this script from one part of the world to the other and does not want to modify it or to bring a new political system in these countries. The present scenario in both these countries itself is an evidence of this conventional interest. So what happened next? Will Imran Khan and Morgan Tsvangirai detract this script? Just wait and watch.


The writer is an LLM from the United Kingdom and is presently working at a Law Firm in London. He has experience in working for Pakistan Television News, FM101 Radio Pakistan, and Radio GU2 1350 AM London. He is also an author of a book, wrote at the age of 16, and was awarded as the youngest book author of Pakistan. He is a prominent debater and have won numerous debating competitions and hosted many public seminars. He can be reached at http://www.facebook.com/raja.zeeshan.982   

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Anonymous user 6 years
(Y) zeeshan bhai Saadi frm pak
Anonymous user 6 years
Superbbbbb.... Thanks for the insight, so we Pakistanis are not the only one in political and judicial agony! Simply brilliant! (Y)
Anonymous user 6 years
I am a Zimbabwean and I even did not know that the similar things are going on in Pakistan. Shame on those hidden powers who do not wish to bring change in our countries
Anonymous user 6 years
It makes me wonder, how can a normally human being support this kind of fraudulent. Mugabe has never won the elections in his entire life rigging is his duty. l'm talking as far 1980 Zimbabwe's former colony Britain rigged the elections in favour of Mugabe. Ever since then Zanu pf learnt that in order to remain in power you have to rig the elections. Nobody is happy about Mugabe and his Zanu thugs. Those who fear him like South Africa, SADC and AU they call him a veteran he's never been a veteran in the past cos his ZANLA Thugs started terrorising people as far as the 70's raping women and young girls making them to sing all night long. When we talk of Veterans we talk of people like Dr Joshua Nkomo and Nelson Mandela. Mugabe and his Zanu never fought any war in the liberation struggle they lie we know the history here l'm talking as the one who knows l was there l saw everything with my own two eyes. They enjoying the benefits they never fought that's they stuck into power like glue even if they know that they have failed the people of Zimbabwe.
Anonymous user 6 years
A genuine piece of work to expose the hidden rullling powers. It's all abt power n force.
Anonymous user 6 years
As a Zimbabwean I wish to correct one area which for now I dont want to say Raja seem not to be clear of the Politics of his country and Zimbabwe. He goes on to write in his article, Quote 'Now the question arises that what are the reasons that in both these countries the traditional or ruling parties have local and International media support? Why the western countries believe that only ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe and PMLN in Pakistan are the right stake holders and deserve to govern? ' Unquote. Analysts lets have your views on the eztract given above which I THINK IS MISLEADING AND NOT TRUE IN THE CASE OF ZANUPF.
Anonymous user 6 years
Well I would definitely agree with his point that the local and International media was supporing ZANUPF. The reason is abvious that as Mugabe has already implemented his dictorial policies in the country and damaged the economy and institutions. The reason why International media is supporting to ZANUPF is that they know that Mugabe is the right man to serve their purposes. Everyone knows abt the massive riggging in general elections but still International agencies and organizations believe that it was a fair battle. Mugabe has never won the elections by his real street power, its all about his relation with the Western powers as this is the part of Mugabe political agenda. I really feel sorry for Morgan as MDC was a well desereved rulling party after elections.
Anonymous user 6 years
Thank you for the thinking that MDC was a deserving Party to be the winner, if one may ask the basis for that thinking. I quote 'I really feel sorry for Morgan as MDC was a well desereved rulling party after elections.' this is from one Anonymous. DESERVED RULLING PARTY AFTER ELECTIONS. Well said, one may want to know who says that and the authority vested into the lets say announcer/speaker. Democracy is about space, sleep over this one and wake-up if you can
Anonymous user 6 years
That's simple and fine to say 'the local and International media was supporing ZANUPF', the question is whether that statement is true and factual? We all know the size and population of Zimbabwe it's capacity and problems can we safely say given a fair chance we would all want to say today Zimbabwe besides the sanctions issue is the most needy and desperate country in Africa? What is at stake in Zimbabwe and why is it on CNN/BBC/ALJAZEERAH/SKY-something etc
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