Opposition must boycott Zim elections

HARARE - All the 22 opposition candidates contesting this presidential election must, for once, agree on one thing, that is to boycott the elections and create a legitimacy crisis for this competitive authoritarianism being fronted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF.

It is quite clear that time is running out for Mnangagwa and Zec to run a fair vote. 

On Friday, the High Court ordered Zec to release the provisional voters’ roll. Did Zec have to be ordered to do this?

Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba was at pains on Friday to defend herself after the voters’ roll debacle.

Today, the High Court in Harare is due to hear two cases brought by legal watchdog Veritas seeking an order compelling Zec to comply with its constitutional duty to administer a transparent general election and to promote transparency in all its operations.

Both cases raise constitutional issues affecting the Electoral Act and the Zec’s functions under the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

After staging the military-engineered ouster of Robert Mugabe which had the backing of millions of Zimbabweans, there has been somewhat a liberalising outcome, which has seen the rise of a new government that is considerably less authoritarian than its predecessor.

But this charade by ED to say the right things and do the opposite should not fool anyone.

Things are not looking good for ED’s attempts to secure legitimacy through free, fair, and credible elections.

Zec has been dragged to court to force it to discharge its legal duty to disclose all of its standard operating procedures, to avail the voters’ roll, to disclose the criteria for screening and selecting persons seconded to Zec, sealing and storage of ballot boxes, voters’ rolls, ballot papers, tallying of votes and any other electoral papers. It has so far failed to do this.

There are escalating fears that the incumbent and his ruling Zanu PF party are typically resorting to fraud to attempt to ensure electoral victory.

While the choice made by opposition elites to form strategic coalitions for the purpose of mounting a credible challenge to the ruling party or candidate in national elections is noble, they are clearly being used to legitimise ED and his ruling Zanu PF’s electoral fraud.

Where are the ballot papers being printed, why is Zec stuffed by securocrats?

After filing nomination papers last week, the opposition must proceed to announce a major boycott of the election until their demands are met.

They are being used to chlorinate or deodorise the coupsters. If they participate, they will lose dismally and when they complain, their remonstrations will just be dismissed as sour grapes.

And, there is a method to the madness.

There have been bogus opinion polls giving ED 70 percent to prime the electorate for such an outcome.

There are fears the ballot fraud will be at an “industrial scale” as already alluded to.

So boycotting elections is the only way to participate.

The regime is desperate for legitimacy after overthrowing the constitutional order.

The opposition must refuse to participate if it doesn’t have the voter register, does not know where the ballots are printed, where the BVR servers are, and Zec is not demilitarised.

They should just say “tongai tione”. Finish and klaar.

In competitive electoral authoritarian regimes like the one we have, elections are foreign policy tools used by the regime to reproduce itself, but it’s quite clear the electoral context, environment and administration have been deftly choreographed to deliver a predetermined outcome of regime retention and continuity.


Comments (4)

Zimbabweans and the MDC have the Stockholm syndrome. They feel gratitude at being kept hostage and being abused by ZANU-PF. They keep believing in the human nature of this monster. They keep believing in free and fair polls. They need mental health intervention. This election has already been stolen. Only a UN supervised poll will not be stolen. Any other ZEC/Military organised poll will deliver one outcome: a pre-determined two thirds majority for ZANU-PF so they can amend the constitution to rule forever. ICHO.

Ropa Panyadzonya - 18 June 2018

@Gift...Maybe boycotting your article is a better idea. It wouldnt surprise me that you're not even registered to vote, but you will be the first to say elections were stolen.

Qiniso - 18 June 2018

The formation of your alliance is an admission that you are the minority . How then do you expect to win when you are the minority . Your boycott is only meant to console yourselves . Go ahead and boycott . One thing is for sure , that not all the minority parties will boycott . This is demonstrated by the fact that you failed to all gang against Zanu PF. Instead of the grant coalition , you ended up with even more parties and more presidential candidates . Even in you alliance , you ended up with more than one candidate in the council , MP , Senatorial and presidential elections . How on earth do you expect to win ?

Hayibo ! - 25 June 2018

Vana Gift, the forex you were eating during the 2007-8 crisis is finished. Wamama. Zimbabwe i going into a new and prosperous period. Its known that you prosper when Zimbabwe is in trouble. When Zimbabwe prospers, you get into trouble. This time its your turn. We are moving on. Chimbwa sungata.

Kabius Kekedu - 25 June 2018

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