Home News ZIMBABWE AGENDA – Is Zimbabwe Ready for Elections

ZIMBABWE AGENDA – Is Zimbabwe Ready for Elections

MID YEAR REVIEW - An opinion piece by Lloyd Damba, MDC Presidential Spokesperson

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Lloyd Damba

“Always be mindful that there is a continuity of the armies of the liberation war, ZIPRA and ZANLA , via ZANU PF. ZANU PF will naturally resist attempts aimed at severing the still attached umbilical cord”.

This was said by quarrelsome Zanu PF Acting Political Commissar, Patrick Chinamasa at the Zanu PF HQ, citadel of state and party power. “Annanias Gwenzi, a former Commander of ZIPRA during the liberation struggle, is a Commander in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Absolom Chanyuka, who was also a top commander in ZANLA, is also a Commander in the Zimbabwe National Army” boasted Chinamasa, flanked by Cde Sunbat, and the controversy dragging Victor Matemadanda. For those not in the know, Cde Sunbat is Rtd General Engelbert Rugeje.
Annanias Gwenzi is Valerio Sibanda and Chanyuka was the late Edzai Chimonyo. The Zanu PF political commissariat mans the party’s electoral machinery. Patrick Chinamasa’s parading of the two serving commanders of the ZNA was no mistake.

General Rugeje ran Operation Spiders Web during the 2018 harmonised elections, delivering a super majority for ZANU PF in the lower house of parliament and a slender majority in the Senate. The military grade OP annihilated the opposition in council elections, with the icing on the cake being the taking of the Presidency. As we gravitate towards 2023, there is no guarantee that the plebiscite will be free from manipulation and covert interference by the military that is very much attached to ZANU PF.
The discouraging social, political and economic situation is likely to get worse after 2023 should there be another contested outcome.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has been publishing figures of people who registered to vote in 2023 and the numbers don’t inspire hope.
In 2018 the Voters Roll had 6 900 000 voters who made official their intention to vote but only 4 500 000 people managed to, with 2 400 000 boycotting the election for one reason or the other.

As we speak a new delimitation exercise is on the horizon. This is likely to affect opposition strongholds especially the Matebeleland region, which has been experiencing low voter turn out. Zanu PF has managed to make inroads there, thanks to the ever obedient son, Obert Mpofu.
We will certainly see a preservation of Zanu PF constituencies that vote in their tens of thousands and an alteration of opposition strongholds which have been affected by voter apathy. One such area is Bulawayo province, going by parliamentary election results of 2018.
Mazoe East represented by Musanhi of Zanu PF polled 28 888 votes sinking St Mary’s, Zengeza West and Two Bulawayo constituencies in one strike and these are opposition strongholds.

The Rural and Farming Communities have been held hostage in one way or the other by the ruling party Zanu PF for the past 21 years.

The urban folk are divided. In 2018 , 204 710 people voted for ED in Harare Metropolitan province, an opposition strong hold. Manicaland, also an opposition bastion, the presidential election was separated by a mere 3000 votes whilst in Mashonaland Central, ZANU PF’s powerhouse, Zanu PF beat the opposition by 269 688 votes.

The Appointment of Patrick Chinamasa, an old guard and hardliner is by perfect design. Parading serving military members was his first shot before taking those who were watching back to the days of ZANLA and ZIPRA.

Former ZANLA and ZIPRA members can also be found in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, stretching the bond that far.

The MDC has been contesting every election since 2000,2005,2008,2013, and 2018, with the exception of By- Elections from 2013 to 2018 when we demanded electoral reforms,
one of them being the demilitarization of the ZEC secretariat.

In 2008 the same military arm twisted the late Robert Mugabe into refusing to concede to Morgan Tsvangirai who had won the 2008 elections. What followed was a post-electoral genocide in the guise of a run off.

SADC PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES GOVERNING DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS are yet to be observed, let alone followed in Zimbabwe.

SADC of late has distanced itself from the Zimbabwean Agenda and is now looking the other way. With a terrorist insurgency in Mozambique, a burning Eswatini and an unfolding crisis in the DRC with the potential of gun powder exploding again, the region has it’s hands full and Zimbabwe is certainly not a priority.

The EUROPEAN Union and the United States are also seized with Turkey, Iran, Syria, North Korea and have an ambitious Chinese Empire to counter and contain on the global stage.
Zimbabwe is at the periphery of their binoculars.

Seized with this reality the Zimbabwe Council of Churchs whose members number into millions and are heavily affected by the economic situation in the country, has of late been shouting it’s voice hoarse for the postponement of elections for seven years which they are calling Sabbath. At least to allow Zimbabweans to breathe, to unite, to recover lost fortunes, to allow the country to heal and be part of the global economic order.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has lost its glory due to the dwindling labour force which has left a very few trade unionizing. It also has to deal with a new threat to to the country’s labour laws, our new Chinese Colonizers who are on record as ill treating our locals whom they perceive as inferiors.

Zimbabweans are squeezed of much needed economic,social and political space. For the last two decades Zimbabwe has been living for elections hoping that their lives will change, only to face more hardships two days after announcement of elections, forcing many of our kinsmen into economic exile.

If the Zimbabwe Council of Churches gets its way and elections are suspended, the proceeding period can be used to;

Establish trust among various politicians and their respective parties. Bringing to heel and taming state institutions such as the police, the army the CIO and even ZEC itself.

We could also use this period to draft a code of conduct for all political parties and have legislation in place to concretize it.

We can also use this opportunity to send a multi party international thematic committee for re-engement with the international community and financial institutions. Cooperation and good relations with them will attract much needed foreign direct investment, breathing life into our Manufacturing Industry ,commerce, the agricultural sector and revival of our tourism industry. We could easily creat 7 million jobs in 8 years.

The question now is ; do the people we lead or seek to lead, live for politics everyday? Or maybe all they want is a better life, good roads, food on their table, running water in the taps, non interrupted electricity supply and a Job to go to everyday with a pension after retirement.

If the election of 2023 goes on as planned will it not produce the same result as beforeand legitimize Zanu PF’s hold on power?

With all being said and done, the big MID year question is;
Is Zimbabwe Ready for Elections under the current political-socio- economic order?

Zimbabwe belongs to all of us. Let’s diREVIEW

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