Were Zimbabwe elections really rigged? If so, why did Chamisa allow this?


For a party that claims that it has been robbed of victory since 2000 through vote rigging by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, the Movement for Democratic Change, which is staffed by highly qualified lawyers- Nelson Chamisa himself, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube (a law professor), Douglas Mwonzora, Innocent Gonese, just to name a few in the leadership- has been taking the Zimbabwe electorate too much for granted but doing very little to stop the rigging.

The late president of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai claimed he was robbed of the 2000 parliamentary elections and went to court. He challenged the 2002 presidential elections again as well as the 2005 parliamentary elections. Tsvangirai also challenged the 2013 elections having won the 2008 elections.

Despite these disputed polls, the MDC now under Nelson Chamisa seems to have done nothing to stop rigging in the 2018 elections, apart from shouting at a rally that “hakudyiwe rinopisa” if he lost.

Instead of challenging the elections technically, they wanted to sacrifice their supporters by asking them to take to the streets if the party, and Chamisa in particular, did not win.

According to a message sent by party deputy treasurer Charlton Hwende, the party needed only $225 000 to deploy 45 000 election agents. But the appeal, only sent out on 26 July, three days before the elections, was already too late.

But one is bound to ask, if the party was serious about stopping vote rigging and if they felt this was the biggest threat to their victory, why did they leave this too late? More importantly why did they not set aside money for this?

The party was given $1.8 million under the Political Parties Finance Act for this year’s elections way back in March. Why did it not set aside the $225 000 to stop rigging instead of waiting until the last minute.

Four days before the elections, the party did not have the money and was going back to the electorate to bail it out.

There was nothing wrong with crowd-funding. It has been done elsewhere, even by President Barack Obama of the United States, but to do so three days before the elections was taking the people too much for granted.

It has also been done in Africa. According to Africa Confidential, when Ghanaian opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo lost the 2012 elections and went to court and lost, he decided that John Mahama, who is heading the Commonwealth observer group in the Zimbabwe elections, would not cheat him again in the 2016 elections.

Continued next page


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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