By-election results vindicate MDC

HARARE - Zanu PF’s ‘‘victory’’ in Wednesday’s sham by-elections in 16 constituencies countrywide is a sad development for democracy.

President Robert Mugabe’s party, put in almost everything into the campaign including uncouth methods like forcing headmen to take people for voting, intimidation and violence like in the case of Hurungwe West.

This no doubt vindicates the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC’s position on the polls.

Except maybe for Hurungwe West, where Zanu PF probably had its strongest opposition in independent candidate Temba Mliswa, the ruling party was competing in one-man races, following the MDC’s withdrawal from the polls.

The MDC said of the polls; “The by-elections have largely vindicated our position as even these polls were fraught with the massive irregularities we have highlighted such as vote-buying, abuse of traditional leaders and disenfranchisements as some voters found their names not on the voters roll.”

The low voter turnout and the paltry votes for the so-called winners tell their own sad story. This is a pyrrhic victory for the Zanu PF regime. It is, indeed, a hollow and meaningless “victory”.

Perhaps Zimbabweans should note that what was happening in Hurungwe West, could actually happen all over the country, come 2018. Headmen are reported to have shepherded their subjects to polling stations in groups, which in itself is voter intimidation.

Tsvangirai’s call for electoral reforms, therefore, is justified because as long as the playing field is not even then it will give room for contested outcomes.

In Tsholotsho North, Zanu PF threw in its second highest top officials to drum up support for the party’s candidate, who is also minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Jonathan Moyo. There, the electorate was reportedly threatened that they would not receive any government aid if they did not vote for Zanu PF.

Without reforms, results of any future elections become predictable — Zanu PF would win thus confirming our worst fears that the ruling party would be able to railroad any piece of legislation they may deem worthy once they register a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

This would happen at a very big cost for Zimbabweans in their pursuit for democracy.

For a country that tasted an inclusive setup during the era of the government of national unity, it has been like taking three giant steps forward and another four equally huge strides backwards.

Effectively, you will be receding, eroding all the gains that may have been registered beforehand.

Mugabe and his party’s strategy and plans for 2018 are already in place and the 16 by-elections provided them with an opportunity for a test-run.

Comments (3)

very soon MDC T will be extinct

wind - 12 June 2015

Actually going by less than 20000 casting their vote in 16 constituencies in what bigwigs call a landslide victory honestly means it is Zanu Pf in the ICU. These people have redefined landslide victory.

mupandawana - 12 June 2015

Shamu of all people anyura nedzakawanda .. no doubt arimo mumadhiri e ZBC.... THAT BLACK V.8 ... LOLOSWITLOLO

lawrence munkombwe - 14 June 2015

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