Blessings Mashaya 14 May 2017
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.
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