Activists launch July 31 poll book

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s disputed elections will come under the spotlight tonight as a leading civic society leader launches a book which re-visits the plebiscite sullied by allegations of vote-rigging.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition executive director McDonald Lewanika unveils the book titled “We the People — July 31 Our Version of Events” at the Book Café this evening.

The book was co-edited by Delta Milayo Ndou, a former Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition employee who now works as the social media editor at Zimpapers, publishers of the Herald among other titles.

“The book is a dynamic mapping of some of the issues that afflicted the conduct of the harmonised elections in Zimbabwe on July 31, 2013 as told through 31 narratives,” Lewanika said.

“The narratives are a journey through the feelings and sentiments of Zimbabweans, from different walks of life, encompassing fear, shock, despair, violence, disillusionment, celebration and hope — which are also the chapters on which the book is based.

“It is an authoritative statement of people’s varied truths around how they experienced and saw that process. It will verify some issues that have been matters of conjecture and speculation, and in some instances debunk other notions that people had began to treat as gospel truth with regards to the electoral process.

“Unlike most accounts on the elections, the book stakes no claim to authority and singular truth, opting instead to assume the position that there are various truths as informed by people’s lived experiences. It uses these personal histories as the tool of narration, mixed with whatever analysis the owners of the narratives decide to include in their stories.”

Lewanika and Ndou saw the book’s production as an opportunity to have the story of the election told outside dominant narratives by the major groups involved in the elections, and outside the elusive and often divisive pursuit of a singular narrative.

“The collection is hoped to serve a functional purpose around learning from the past ahead of future elections. The stated intent of the book is also that it adds to the knowledge bank that is accumulating on Zimbabwe’s July 31, 2013 election,” said Lewanika.

Last year’s elections in which President Robert Mugabe beat Morgan Tsvangirai were marred by allegations of cheating and many voter irregularities.

Mugabe and Zanu PF dismissed both allegations although both the Sadc and African Union observer missions raised some concerns but overall passed the election as “generally credible.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.