The election part 2 – where to now?

7 08 2013

As Helen said to me on Saturday; “If it’s such a landslide victory for ZANU-PF where are the celebrating crowds?”. They certainly weren’t on the street in Harare. Or anywhere else that I have heard. A client coming through the airport on Sunday night said the officials there were in “shell-shock”. The stock market, that perennial barometer of things economic, reacted on Monday by dropping 11% in value. Austin muttered at the gym that once again we’d failed to grasp the scale of what ZANU-PF was capable of doing. German Embassy officials I spoke to on Saturday commented that it was a blatantly fraudulent election and yes, it would be declared fraudulent in a court of law. But perhaps not a Zimbabwean one. The USA, UK and EC have described the elections as deeply flawed.

As I type this on Wednesday morning 2 ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) officials have resigned in disgust.

Jacob Zuma, the South Africa president, has endorsed the results as “free and fair” as has the African Union observer team. Other African observers have declared various degrees of reservations on the veracity of the outcome.

Botswana is asking for an audit (their president, Ian Kharma, and ours have never seen eye-to-eye).

ZANU-PF are crowing that they “have a mandate from the people” to change the constitution with their 2/3 parliamentary majority and will be enforcing the 51% indigenous ownership (that means black Zimbabweans) of all companies. Hence the stock market slump.

Most Zimbabweans I have met are continuing as normal. Yesterday I watched as a group of older women bought roses in the next-door nursery.

My doctor said she’d not prescribed any more Prozac than normal.

On Saturday night I attended the first graduation of the current Dance Foundation Course (DFC) for which I am a trustee. Politics could not have been further from anyone’s mind. The students had great fun showing off their new skills, proud families celebrated and even the guest of honour, the US Ambassador relaxed a little. So to answer the question in the title; I suppose we will just wait and see as we have been doing for the last 45 years.

The art of intimidation

17 06 2008

The ZANU-PF “meeting” I mentioned in the last post was real enough – it was still going on when I went home at 5 in the evening. I was not tempted to stop off and catch up but I did quiz my maid in the morning. It was all the usual fare; we will kill anyone who votes for the opposition and a weapon was brandished for good effect. Why it took five and a half hours to get the message across also speaks volumes. They are lying of course as they cannot know who votes for whom or where they will poll but the effect was there as now most people will not vote at all.

When the farm invasions were on numerous friends and acquaintances got death threats. They were probably bogus but can one afford not to take them seriously? The intimidators last week were dealing with a less sophisticated audience but the principle was the same; keep them guessing and they will err on the side of caution. ┬áThe art lies in just taking it to the line of credibility. I actually don’t think the outcome will be much influenced anyway. There is only one result that I can see – the ruling party has not come this far just to give in quietly and accept a result that they don’t want.

I see it this way:

  1. Mugabe wins outright.
  2. They rig the results to win.
  3. They lose and ignore the results.

1,681,835,527,909.52 – that’s the closing balance on my corporate account yesterday. I have never I think been so wealthy or poor at the same time. As to why they have kept the cents is beyond me; I am now rounding all my invoices UP eight digits LEFT of the decimal and busy modifying my software to cope with real money. Hey, I mean, I actually took in USD25.00 in sales last week!

I hear more and more that people are just offering to pay in real money as the hassle of getting anything with Zimbabwe dollars escalates almost as fast as the inflation. I make a point not to solicit, though if I am stung it probably won’t make a lot of difference (it is still illegal to accept foreign currency as payment). I wait for the customer to offer.