Zimbabwe academic and activist Ibbo Mandaza got away with a blatant lie that Harare has one-third of Zimbabwe’s voter population that is why the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was able to rig elections in August but still allow the Citizens Coalition for Change to win in the capital.
He said this during a lecture at the OR Tambo School of Leadership in Johannesburg. The lecture, initially scheduled for 8 September, was stopped by African National Congress secretary-general Fikile Mbalula who argued that the school could not be used as a platform to criticise the ZANU-PF government.
Mbalula wrote to David Masondo, the principal of the school, that while he appreciated the tradition of the OR Tambo School of Leadership in promoting vigorous debate, the school was intricately linked to the ANC. As such use of the school, was use of an ANC platform.
“At the moment the leadership of the ANC is engaged in a number of delicate engagements regarding the situation in Zimbabwe. In this context, a public lecture, at this time, on what is clearly an ANC platform, would complicate these initiatives,” Mbalula said.
Masondo went ahead with the lecture on 28 September but has since been fired.
Mandaza said that the rigging was done mostly in CCC strongholds, Harare and Bulawayo, and one could understand why because Harare has one-third of the country’s voter population.
This, however, is not true. Harare has 30 seats out of 210 constituencies, one-seventh.
Even in terms of voter population, Zimbabwe has 6 619 690 voters according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Harare district has 907 752 and Chitungwiza 176 060 meaning that Harare Metropolitan has 1 083 812 voters, only one-sixth of the voter population not one third.
Bulawayo has a voter population of 287 220 so even if you add that to the Harare population, they are nowhere near one-third which should be 2.2 million voters. The total voter population for Harare and Bulawayo is 1 371 032.
One wonders, what more did Mandaza lie about in his lecture?