Opposition parties, CSOs are seeing shadows in elections

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Opposition parties, CSOs are seeing shadows in elections 
Nelson Chamisa

Mukachana Hanyani

As the August 23 2023 harmonised elections day draws near, there has been some shivers emanating from some opposition political parties and their funders as reality now is clear that they are facing defeat from the powerful ZANU PF, prompting them to see ghosts where there are none. 

Some have already come up with frivolous allegations that elections would not be free and fair sighting unsubstantiated rigging issues. 

They are alleging that the electoral playing field is not even. 

Some have even gone on to threaten boycotting elections, but the reality on the ground is that they fear humiliation from the ever green revolutionary party, ZANU PF.

Already, we have seen the MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora withdrawing his candidature from the presidential race as he has concluded that he will never win, but hiding behind the issue that Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) has not reformed well to run elections properly. 

Mwonzora withdrew his candidature from the presidential race saying that his party was facing “unfair and discriminatory” treatment from ZEC after his 87 aspiring House of Assembly candidates failed to present their nominations papers on time and went on to fail to raise the required payments for nominations. 

Mwonzora had thought that his party would benefit from the alleged extension of nomination time by ZEC when his MDC-T aspiring candidates failed to beat the time table of the nomination court sessions. 

Whatever reasons were raised by Mwonzora, they were flimsy to save face, but the actual reason was that he knew he had no chance of winning anything against the super charged ZANU PF. 

Mwonzora’s withdrawal from the presidential race was the only soft landing to avoid humiliation through heavy defeat by the ruling party.

As if the withdrawal by Mwonzora from presidential race was not enough, recently the Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa told HSTV’s Free Talk programme that he was going to win elections and failure to win would mean that elections would be fake, hence is not going to accept any results that would not make him a victor. 

Such declarations by Nelson Chamisa of claiming that the pending elections are there to make him a winner and any results that dissuade him from winning would be fake points to political immaturity.

Holding of elections is a process where there should be a winner and a loser. 

One wonders why Chamisa would declare himself a winner before elections are held. 

It is another Mwonzora tactic of withdrawal being used by Chamisa where he claims victory before elections are held. He wants to confuse the electorate not to go on polls thinking that voting is not necessary since there is a winner already.

It should be known that President Mnangagwa invited local and international observers to come and observe the 2023 harmonised elections as a sign that ZANU PF Government has nothing to hide. 

For the record, 46 countries including the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Russia as well as 17 continental and regional bodies have been invited to observe the August 23 harmonised elections.

As a means to show the world that President Mnangagwa`s Government has nothing to hide on the holding of the coming harmonised elections about 51 embassies and nine consulates accredited to Zimbabwe were also invited to observe the elections.

 For that reason, opposition political parties and Civil Society Organisations should have welcomed this move by President Mnangagwa of having local and international observers being in the country to observe elections.

CSOs should have as well advised Chamisa to continue with his campaign rallies, thereby avoid threatening to boycott elections in a situation where the whole world is focussing on the same elections.

So one wonders why Chamisa would think that his failure to win elections would be as a result of rigging by ZANU PF in a situation where the whole world has sent observers to observe elections. 

Why would CSOs want to support Chamisa`s view that elections would not be free and fair when President Mnangagwa has opened up the country to make it easy for whoever is interested in observing elections is free to come and do so?

Those coming to observe elections should not forget that since President Mnangagwa came to power, the economy has been developed with the once feared inflationary situation being tamed. 

Now prices are falling down to the excitement of the voters. 

Even the different electoral surveys from the USA based Afrobarometer, USA based Fitch Solutions electoral surveys have predicted that President Mnangagwa would win the August 23 Presidential elections. 

Those survey results were similar to what the Kenyan based African Forum Limited had also predicted in March that President Mnangagwa would win the coming Presidential elections, 

So if all those surveys had predicted that President Mnangagwa would win elections accompanied by successfully economic turn-around that are now bearing fruit, why would people like Chamisa and his funders want to confuse the electorate?

 Above all, the whole world, represented by different international and regional elections observers are in the country for such an important plebiscite.

On such a situation, how would one think ZANU PF Government would rig elections when such contingents of election observers are observing those elections? 

So, those thinking that ZANU PF electoral victory would be as a result of rigging should revisit their mind-sets and get focussed on real issues instead of wasting their minds on wrong issues. 

Obviously, elections bring a winner and a loser, hence those competing should expect and accept any result and move.