via Vote flawed, but let’s move on, minister 31 July 2014
DEPUTY Justice Minister Fortune Chasi on Wednesday admitted that the last general election controversially by his Zanu PF party last July had some serious discrepancies.
Chasi, who is also the Zanu PF MP for Mazowe South constituency, was speaking at a forum organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Election Resource Centre to discuss political developments a year after the inclusive government ended.
“The first evaluators of the elections are Zimbabweans and we agree that the elections were by and large free and fair which is entirely different from saying they were perfect,” he said.
Speaking at the same meeting, academic and political analyst, Pilani Zamchiya, said he agreed with the deputy minister that the elections had technical flaws.
He however, added that he did not believe that these technical problems entirely contributed to the MDC’s shocking election loss.
“What is not conclusive at the moment is that how much of these (technical problems) contributed to the loss of the MDC. So we need to be able to look at the different parts before we come to a conclusion in terms of how much that affected the outcome of the election,” he said.
“They can be technical flaws and even if they were there you would still lose. But fundamentally as a matter of principle elections are supposed to be free and fair.”
The deputy minister urged civil society to continue to push for democracy so that the electoral discrepancies that were raised in the last election do not recur again.
“If I am to leave a message to you it is to say that we must continue to move as a country to advance the frontiers of democracy passionately and honestly and this requires a number of things to happen,” he said.
“One of which is that we need as a country to develop trust and trust is earned. All of us whether you are in a NGO or whether you are in government you must be doing things that cause people to trust you.”
In spite of the electoral flaws, Chasi urged Zimbabweans to accept the status quo and move on.
President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party romped to a stunning victory winning 160 out of the 210 seats that were up for grabs with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party getting a paltry 49 seats.
A livid Tsvangirai immediately rejected the results citing massive rigging by Zanu PF.
He was particularly unhappy that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had failed to avail to his party an electronic voters’ register ahead of the landmark election.
Tsvangirai also complained about the use of voters’ slips as well as the high number of assisted voters in a country that prides itself on its high literacy rate.
The election however, received the thumbs up from SADC and the African Union. But most Western governments led by the United States dismissed the election as a sham.