Zanu PF's one-man Masvingo poll condemned

HARARE - The move by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF to go ahead with a one-man election in Masvingo to fill the vacant chairmanship post shows the ruling party is determined to disregard democracy ahead of the much-anticipated 2018 elections, analysts said yesterday.

Mutero Masanganise, who lost the first round last month, pulled out of the poll because of fears of ballot fraud and widespread interference in the poll by the military.

The vote, held last weekend despite a storm of condemnation from inside and outside the ruling party, was denounced as a sham by analysts.

Ezra Chadzamira polled 29 543 votes.

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Analysts canvassed by the Daily News on Sunday yesterday said they were flabbergasted that Zanu PF recognised Chadzamira’s win in a sham poll.

“It shows the party’s determined disregard for democracy. It’s the rising of the 2008 spectre of one-man presidential election re-run,” political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said.

Before the election, Masanganise made stunning claims that military and intelligence personnel were campaigning for Chadzamira, amid growing tension in the volatile province.

“In fact, my opponents led by … (Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai) Mahofa, and … (politburo member Josiah) Hungwe’s team, have intensified their activities by further illegally compromising party structures this includes the use of military personnel who are intimidating members in the rural constituencies.

Major General Engelbert Rugeje is at the centre of these activities,” Masanganise wrote in a letter to party administrator Ignatius Chombo.

Another political analyst Shakespear Hamauswa said the opposition parties must prepare for an uneven electoral playing field in 2018.

“All it means is that an election is an arena for power market where those who are powerful will win.

The faction that seems to be in control of the party system will always win. This means at national level Zanu PF will be in control of electoral processes and it will go ahead with or without reforms.

“Other parties just like the G40 will complain but nothing will change. For the opposition, it means they need to be prepared to use other means in order to change the political system

“The best way forward is to create a crisis-packed situation reminiscent of the March 11, 2007 Save Zimbabwe Campaign.

“This will force the powers that be to the negotiating table.

Hamauswa said secondly, “opposition parties should desist from the electoral rigging mantra but instead they have to build confidence among the voters, not confidence with the system, but confidence about the capacity of people to defeat the system.

“They can do this by talking more of occasion where the system was forced to give in.

“They need to bring the struggle to the people; a people war will never fail.”

Comments (1)

Splitting or not splitting, Zanu PF remains one and will not reform electoral laws because doing so is digging its own grave. What's needed is indeed People Power! United we can fell Zanu PF! Icho!

Yeoman Thomas - 14 May 2017

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