RIGGING, vote buying and violence were the major highlights of Zanu PF’s provincial elections on Tuesday. This somehow lends credence to opposition and critics’ claims that Zanu PF has a penchant for abandoning the rule book when it comes to conducting elections, be they internal or national.
Zimbabweans were hoping to see the governing party conducting free, fair, credible and peaceful provincial elections to allay fears of vote rigging in the 2023 harmonised elections.
But it was not to be.
Reports revealed that some provinces recorded violence during the polls with members clashing particularly in parts of Mashonaland West and Central provinces where some candidates were accused of ballot stuffing and fleeing with ballot papers.
In some provinces, ballot papers were delivered late just before voting closed at 5pm, in what party members claimed was a deliberate attempt to frustrate supporters of rivals.
This confirms what critics have always said that Zanu PF has never been committed to democratic ethos and standards in its entire history.
That behaviour is a reflection of a party that does not care about the constitution, the rule of law and free and fair elections.
Based on what transpired in the provincial elections, one would not help but fear that the election rules that were ignored within the party on Tuesday will be ignored again in the national polls in 2023 because of the State and party conflation.
So it will save Zimbabweans very well to defend their vote, as Zanu PF has shown the world that the way to survive in power is to rig an election and employ all sorts of dirty tricks.
It is our belief that Zanu PF should have chosen the provincial elections to shame critics and hold credible polls.
Zanu PF should have led by example, as the way its members behaved in their elections spells doom for the national elections which pits it against opposition parties in 2023.
This brings the question whether the country will have credible elections in the absence of electoral reforms, and in line with regional and international standards on holding of truly democratic elections