EVEN before a single ballot is cast, Zimbabwe’s 23 August general elections are now increasingly viewed as deeply flawed, and have already significantly lost credibility.
Central to the worsening problem is a skewed playing field, an electoral body which is captured, an opaque electoral process run by partisan officials, including security agents behind the scenes, involvement of a CIO-run outfit, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe, chaotic voters’ roll, effects of a controversial delimitation process, poorly drawn constituency and ward boundaries, difficult polling station locations, arbitrary detention of opposition leaders and the banning of opposition rallies.
Vote-buying is also a major problem.
The opposition is denied access to state-controlled media as required by the law.
Add to this long catalogue of irregularities the disqualification of opposition candidates, including 12 CCC Bulawayo parliamentary election candidates, and independent presidential election candidate Saviour Kasukuwere.
There have also been incidents of intimidation and coercion during the campaign period.
Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga said: “Never in Zimbabwe’s 43 year-old history has an election been so irretrievably discredited, @ZECzim so compromised, the electoral process so flawed and manipulated and the outcome so delegitimised prior to the first ballot being cast. This is no election. It’s a sham. The cost will be high!”
Zimbabwean elections are always disputed, thus lack credibility and legitimacy in the end.-STAFF WRITER