Zim election: Future looks bleak again

HARARE - Long-suffering Zimbabweans are facing the nightmarish prospects of reliving the extreme hardships of 2008, after rich Western governments expressed concerns over the poll results.

The condemnation of the just-ended polls by the European Union (EU) the United States of America and Britain have stoked up fears the sanctions which were being relaxed in the past four years could be renewed as the country struggles to shake off its pariah State tag.

After the disputed 2008 presidential elections run-off the country’s economy went into free-fall while thousands of crisis-weary Zimbabweans went into exile running away from empty shops and a deadly cholera outbreak that claimed more than 4 000 lives.

Political analysts said yesterday the mounting pressure could ignite people to turn against the 89-year-old leader.

“The only viable card left for the MDC is a popular show of defiance by the people of Zimbabwe against the elections, but so far it would seem that card is too much of an ask to a battle-weary populace,” said Fambai Ngirande, a civil rights activist.

Analysts said the surprise decision by the African Union to withhold its verdict on the controversial election results had finally sealed Zimbabwe’s pariah status both within southern Africa and across the world.

The AU’s action was a massive diplomatic blow and a setback for Mugabe and his government.

The AU withheld its verdict as one of the nine members of the election commission resigned on Saturday over the appalling manner in which the election was conducted.

Zec commissioner Mkhululi Nyathi said in his resignation letter: “While throughout the whole process I retained some measure of hope that the integrity of the whole process could be salvaged along the way, this was not to be.”

The United States, Britain and the EU say the election, won by incumbent Mugabe, was not credible because of rigging by Zanu PF.

But African governments have not been so critical, partly because of the feeling that Western outrage is driven in part by sympathy for the white farmers and investors Mugabe has evicted.

The analysts said while South Africa’s President Jacob and Sadc’s point man in the Zimbabwe dialogue opposed tougher action by the international community against Mugabe, Western countries would find it difficult to protect the Zimbabwean leader after having virtually agreed his re-election was illegitimate.

“President Zuma urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections, as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people,” the South African leader said in his statement.

The floodgates opened against Mugabe over the weekend when the US protested against a re-election that has been castigated as a blatant fraud.

US secretary of State John Kerry said the poll was “deeply flawed” and results showing Mugabe winning a seventh term were not credible.

Kerry pointed to irregularities in voters’ roll, unequal access to state media by the candidates, uneven security protection of the election and a failure by the government to implement political reforms.

He called on the Sadc and the AU to address their concerns with the election.

The European Union said it was concerned about irregularities and a lack of transparency in the poll.

“The EU is concerned about alleged irregularities and reports of incomplete participation, as well as the identified weaknesses in the electoral process and a lack of transparency. The EU will continue to follow developments and work closely with its international partners in the weeks to come,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a declaration issued on behalf of the 28-nation bloc.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said they had “grave concerns” over the conduct of the election.

“We note that some political parties have rejected the result on the basis of these irregularities.”
Tsvangirai told a Saturday press conference at his Highlands home that his party had won Wednesday’s election and that he “totally rejects” the official results.

“We will need to examine what has happened and consider further reports from regional and local observer missions,” Hague said.  “In the meantime, it is important that all allegations of electoral violations are thoroughly investigated. We will continue to support Zimbabwe and its people in their aspirations for a democratic, peaceful and prosperous future.”

Australia called for a fresh poll.

“Given our doubts about the results, Australia calls for a re-run of the elections based on a verified and agreed voters roll,” Australia Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement.

Ngirande said geo-political interests will no doubt trump calls for democratic process.

“Mugabe’s challenge is more about proving that a Zanu PF government can be a worthwhile trading partner than it is about proving that he has proven popular support,” Ngirande said.

“Mugabe has adequately proven that sanctions are an ineffective weapon against him and l am doubtful if the West would still revert to that strategy.”

Zimbabwean civil society groups have called into question the credibility and fairness of the July 31 election.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe,  Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Zimrights, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Bulawayo Agenda, National Association of NGOs, said the vote was seriously flawed.

“We, the heads of CSO (civil society organisation) Coalitions and Networks would like to categorically state that the elections held in Zimbabwe on July 31, 2013 and the processes leading up to them do not by any stretch of the imagination qualify this election as being free, fair or credible,” the groups said in a damning joint statement.

“We regard this election as illegitimate and not reflective of the will of the people.”

Mugabe had been able to defy the rest of the world so far only because southern Africa, especially regional economic power South Africa, had stood by him, the analysts noted.

The analysts said Zimbabwe’s governance crisis could end up being brought before the Sadc.

Comments (16)

Whether these small groups of sellouts talk above their voices it only serve to clarify that they are refusing what the majority have said. They are forgetting that people where getting into the ballot boxes as individuals without anyone telling us where to put our xs. When people were going to President Mugabe's rallies you were saying they were being forced and failed to read their faces. All those stupid organisations mentioned above are an mdct project extension. So its not surprising that they utter all sorts of nonsense. They are crying for leftovers from their handlers and we zimbabweans know that very well and as long as that strategy continues more people will desert mdct. Remember we are not fools to be continueosly insulted for our rightful decisions by these created creatures just for the sake of not voting for their party. If elections were to be held next year the margin will be even bigger even if to redo it today with everyone voting the mdct will loose the few seats in their possession today. We are tired of your silly thinking so-called analysts of doom.

Takeiteasy Marcaves - 5 August 2013

That is the major reason why i voted for Mugabe, rather than a clueless puppet who is half educated. The more the West demonise Mugabe, the more we hate their local puppets.

reason - 5 August 2013

It is just sad how an 89 year old would still lust for power.

Tatambura Zimbabwe - 5 August 2013

The zim story is better told by impartial reporters from the Herald, no wonder why it is the flagship of zim and commands highest readership year in year out. all you Moregay so called independent press are the reason why zim has experienced retarded economic growth over the past 13 yrs. why cant u just concede for once that Cde RG is our father and zim is our country and its future hinges on positive reportage than this irresponsible blood sucking, vampirish reportage which idolises the west. hamuzivi here kuti makore enyu arikutofamba. very soon u will be old fighting a losing battle with ZANU PF, the people's party.

mukorore - 5 August 2013

@Tatambura Zimbabwe honestly mafungiro ako haana kufunga. Leaders cannot be condemned just coz they are old, if that was the case then USA should not be supporting Israil President Benjamin Netanyahu check his age and come to your reasoning

Pondaihenyumwanawevhu - 5 August 2013

Not that I am condemning Mugabe due to his age or whatever but I just want to tell you Pondaihenyumwanawevhu that Benjamin Netanhahu is only 64 years old while Mugabe is 89, that gives an age difference of 25 years. However, from Mr. Mugabe's government we, the people of Zimbabwe, now demand economic development. May you please deliver a life to Zimbabweans just like what the MDC-T was going to do. Please stop militarizing everything; we now need a democratic state and not a military state. We are tired of living under fear.

JB - 5 August 2013

Its not only foreigners who are now afraid to invest in Zimbabwe, even we the locals will hold back our investment decisions as the future looks bleak. With Mugabe in government all investors, be they locals or foreigners, are afraid to put our money into projects lest the Chinotimbas and group of war vets would make a part on our money. We are doomed and we will wait at least for six months to see what will happen. Indigenization in Zimbabwe is not meant to benefit the blacks as they say but its for Zanu PF people. Zimbabwe is likely to be heading towards a serious economic decline as liquidity is going to be the number 1 enemy of the economy. Very soon the vultures will lend on Barclays, Stanchart, Stanbic and many other foreign-owned companies. Its a pity. Cry beloved Zimbabwe.

Zimbo - 5 August 2013

This election 'victory' is only for people holding influential positions in Zanu PF. For their supporters theres no way you can wake one day owning a company, mine or bank. And Zanu PF does not owe you anything, its time for them to enjoy the loot!! Tese tichasura kuti bhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!

george - 5 August 2013

Cry my beloved country, cry Zimbabwe! To those who call themselves party supporters, its high time we realise the need to live freely, happily and to watch our futures grow in freedom. While we are living in fear like this, its only the big guns in the party who will enjoy and the majority will suffer, back to the Smith's Bottle-neck system again! I am afraid that this indeginisation thing has and will not generate anything that will bring food on the table for the masses. And l repeat, for the masses. I am not hating anyone, but l am just analysing.

Kauchy - 6 August 2013

pliz may you find good ways to build our nation instead of fighting to each other.it seems as if all yo plans have failed its high time now yu seek God intervention bvunzai vekumasowe vakuudzei direction

madzibaba - 6 August 2013

Its an insult to us who voted to hear someone claim that the results are not correct. We voted for MDC T in 2008 hoping for change but their councils failed to deliver. In Chitungwiza there is no water and they blame Chombo. They were not paying for water from Harare (another MDC Tcouncil) and supplies were cut. They sold us stands in Nyatsime and never gave us the stands. Tinomwa mvura from boreholes and there is no tapped water. So we voted for change. Regai timboona kuti ZANU ichatinyima mvura futi here. You cannot run a country if you cannot run a council. What guarantee is there that they would do wonders if all their councillors are not performing at all. They failed to agree on candidates for elections and they had the highest number of independents. If they canot control their own members how would they suddenly be able to control some of us the indeginized. The MDC T guys lack ed strategy and they should just go back to the drawing board and come up with a credible strategy. Chokwadi unga campaigner uchiti ndivoterei nekuti mashamwari angu ane mari. Ah. Ko vakakunyima after you win what will the country do.Tkatochinja zvachose. Hativhoteri MDC T futi

Washington Wonaiwo - 6 August 2013

Mbwende dzevanhu tichakawura tese, kutendera kamudhara kutibiridzira so pachena, when we suuffer we will jump to the streets, those who freed this country did not just wake up to go to war, but it was the pain of suffering they went thru, so it is going to happen that when we suffer more, we will reason and emancipate ourselves from this tyrany

Mr. G - 6 August 2013

Now ZANU pf you are claiming that you won the election. What we want to see is progress not useless promises. It is said an empty vessel make a lot of noise. ZANU PF are seen as EMPTY VESSELS, what you know is talking lies and stealing our resources. Since 1980 you were promising jobs but there is no jobs. Tsvangirai and his MDC T is a party with well didactic and friendly policies unlike ZANU PF the looters. The reason is that you are all over the hills. Gadhafi was far much better than you guys because in his country everyone was regarded as a human being by knowing their basic rights. In addition Madhuku L it seems you are educated but I want you to come to my pre school so that I can assign my student to teach you how to properly put on your spectacles. You should know that education is nothing more over that education you are bosting of is British education why cant you right all your examinations in Shona and called a Professor. Nonsense. Leadership is not about doctorate but about WISDOM the one Tsvangirai has.

Mutape - 6 August 2013

The future can be bleak or bright , whether you have Morgan or Robert. It is up to an individual not to make it bleak. Don't have faith in politicians. Take charge of your destiny and stop seconding your future to some government or politician. Be the change you want to see , and be the future you want to have. No one , not even your favourite politician can do that , unless you take charge of your life. Every cloud has a silver lining , see the opportunity , and look beyond the horizon.

Against all odds - 6 August 2013

LADIES & GENTLEMEN what these NGO;S are saying is the reality on the ground time for propaganda is over what guides their comments are the MANIFESTO;s that were presented to us by ZANU .This INDEGINISATION promise ,l don't think it will sink well with any foreign investor even local ones .As we speak some companies are starting to close down so is ZANU going to revive them l doubt it .The very first thing CHINAMASA said when they had stolen the vote was that they will look into the constitution becoz they are issues to be fixed, shows you their motive of looting at all costs so that they cover for the time lost whilst they were in the GNU , Nationalising banks is a dream that will never happen as we speak we have started banking under our matresses .The change of currency to zim dollar will affect mostly the ARMY,POLICE, &CIVIL SERVANTS coz their pay is held by GOVERNMENT SALARIES ,So when all this happen who is ZANU & its supporters going to blame.It is time to fullfill those lies which l doubt will ever be done .

CASHTALK - 6 August 2013

Vanhu we, how long did it take for ZANU to admit they stole the vote in 2008? And now, how long will it take? As soon as Mugabe admitted he lost in 2008, why was SADC quiet? Why didn't it take this man to task? You all say Tsvangirai useless this and that... Ko inga akahwina 2008? Saka iye ndiye wekungobirirwa chete? I am in serious pain but veduweee....God, you are and will always be faithful! Thank you Mugabe. Psalm 35 is my prayer for you oh gret king!

Oh shame! - 6 August 2013

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