The move that was taken by the MDC-Alliance supporters, early this month to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), criticising it, of failing to announce the Presidential election results at their convenience and claiming the elections were rigging was a well-orchestrated manoeuvre to discredit the polls they knew they would not win.
It was still within the Electoral Law’s five days period within which the election results could have been announced and only ZEC had the mandate to announce these election results. It then begs the question, why the MDC Alliance principals, including Tendai Biti jumped the gun to announce that their leader, Nelson Chamisa had won the election and that they would not accept any election results other than that. For sure their supporters needed no further motivation than that to protect what they alleged was their “stolen vote”.
Hence, violent protests ensured and some retailers lost their commodities and their properties were widely damaged. The signed peace pledge was quickly thrown out of the window by the MDC-Alliance leadership as if they ever followed it anywhere because their rallies were characterised by hate and threats of violence if ever they lost the elections.
Truthfully, Zimbabwe is not a banana republic where the public can do whatever they like. People should be governed by the law.
However, what surprises most is that the MDC-Alliance claim that the election was rigged, forgetting that when elections are carried out all political parties send representatives to the polling stations. Additionally, observers were also present to observe the electoral process.
Following the opening up of the political space by President Mnangagwa, this year’s elections were being observed by a number of foreign observers from the Commonwealth, SADC, European Union, and African Union among others. Under such a scenario, one will certainly wonder where exactly the alleged rigging could have taken place.
It is an open secret that the MDC-Alliance is aggressive and the loss of lives on the day of the demos should be squarely on their shoulders. Biti was in the forefront inciting their supporters to go in streets and protest, telling them that he was prepared to die; he was nowhere to be seen during the protests. His first public appearance was only noticed at Chirundu border post fleeing to Zambia where he wanted to seek political asylum.
After all is said and done, the recent MDC-Alliance demonstrations were sorely to tarnish the image of the entire nation and mar the whole electoral process for the opposition to continue with its mantra of continued sanctions as already indicated by Biti that the Zanu PF government is not going to get a cent as they will mobilise for the sanctions to stay.
The fact that the MDC-Alliance demonstration was held in the midst of showers of praises from foreign election observers for holding a peaceful election infuriated the opposition and Chamisa had already promised “Hakudyiwi rinopisa muno . . . mukaita zvokutamba ndinodira jecha muupfu. Hamuridyi sadza iroro.” True to his word that is what unfolded.
It is worth to note that violence is never a solution to anything. The MDC-Alliance leader, Chamisa and his cronies should be reminded that an election is won through the ballot box. It is the vote that counts for one to be duly elected as a leader and not any form or amount of violence.
On the other hand, it is known that opposition parties in Africa have a tendency of alleging election fraud whenever a ruling party wins. Firstly, the majority of these opposition parties suffer from severe structural weaknesses. Unlike most revolutionary parties that have strong structures some of which date back to the liberation struggle, opposition parties lack firm party structures a situation which contributes largely to their electoral loss.
In previous years, the MDC-T battled to win elections. The late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai lost elections since the time he joined politics. Despite his obvious losses, Tsvangirai would always dispute the election results, but without any proof of how the elections were being rigged.
Lastly, the MDC-Alliance leaders should be encouraged to put their house in order and warn its supporters against any acts of violence. Zimbabweans had heeded President Mnangagwa’s call for peace for the opposition to mar the process to massage their bruised egos.
Regardless, the nation should be united and build a better Zimbabwe. United we stand divided we fall.
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