‘Free elections a pipedream’ 

Source: ‘Free elections a pipedream’ – The Zimbabwe Independent January 19, 2018

CONCERNS have been raised about Zimbabwe’s capacity to ensure free and fair elections after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced this week that polls will be held earlier than previously anticipated, in four to five months’ time.

Kudzai Kuwaza

Speaking during his visit to Mozambique this week, Mnangagwa said the early elections would be peaceful.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the opposition party is ready for elections, but raised concerns on the lack of reforms on the ground.

“We are ready for elections. We are the most popular party but our concerns are on the conditions for a free and fair election,” Gutu said yesterday.

He cited the example of an interview he did with the national broadcaster ZBC on the issue of elections which was not aired as an indication that the conditions are not conducive for a free and fair outcome. Gutu alleged that villagers are being forced to surrender their voter registration slips to Zanu PF activists. He also alleged that 2 000 soldiers have been sent into the villages where they are campaigning in civilian attire for Zanu PF, rendering a free and fair election impossible.

“There is a serious mismatch between the sweet things the government says and what is on the ground,” Gutu said.

MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said the party has begun preparing for elections. He said his party was campaigning in conjunction with the MDC Alliance in Harare this weekend. He said the opposition parties under the umbrella of the MDC Alliance will engage Mnangagwa on the need to deliver on the promised electoral reforms before the make-or-break polls.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network director Rindai Chipfunde Vava said the elections should be held with a “complete and accurate” voters’ registration. She stressed the need for a free and fair election where constitutional rights are observed and where all political parties will have equitable access to the media.

She said only a free and fair election will give the new dispensation legitimacy. Past elections have been marred by violence, allegations of voter intimidation and rigging.


  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 3 years ago

    Not that the article isn’t explicitly true, but “DUH!” As long as ZANUPF has control of the guns, the judiciary, and the press, it’s guaranteed that no elections will be free and fair… nor will the ZANUPF thugs who are allowed to intimidate and apply force during the polling process have to worry about prosecution. Foot! they need not even be concerned about the policia confronting them. Like Mugabe, Mnangagwa will again rely on the criminal element to effect his win. The chefs have been bought with their shiney new vehicles, so again the headmen will frog-march their people to the polling stations with their pre-marked ballots in hand. ZANUPF does not understand honesty, and certainly not the tenents of democracy. The almost-humorous thing is that they don’t seem to realize what complete fools they show themselves to be when they do these things, then hail that the election results prove that “democracy has won!” What foolish children! What idiots..!!!