ZPF victory signals “return to one-party state”

Basic individual freedoms that Zimbabweans were hoping to gain through the ballot box now seem like just a dream that will never become reality, following the shock landslide victory by ZANU-PF in last week’s disputed elections.

The harmonized poll saw some key MDC-T legislators lose their seats in parliament. According to results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Saturday, Robert Mugabe’s party won with more than a two thirds majority.

This puts them in a position to make amendments to the constitution that would threaten individual freedoms and secure the regime’s grip on power.

“As it stands we won’t be able to block any legislation put forth by ZANU PF. In short what it means is that we have gone back to the dark days of the one-party state,” the MDC-T chief-whip in parliament, Innocent Gonese, told SW Radio Africa on Sunday.

Gonese said that between 2000 and 2005, the MDC-T was able to block constitutional amendments because they had more than a third of the seats in parliament.

According to Gonese, last week’s election empowered ZANU-PF again, and they can now change the law and make it even more oppressive that it already is.

Gonese said legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, which the regime has used extensively to prosecute political and human rights activists, is now safe in ZANU-PF hands.

Gonese added that the Senate is also dominated by ZANU PF because they appoint all of the 18 chiefs in that house, and chiefs always vote in line with ZANU-PF party policy.

The MDC-T National Committee met over the weekend to try and map a way forward after insisting publicly that the election had been rigged through systematic manipulation of the voters roll, ballot boxes and papers.

Speaking to the press at his house on Saturday, MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai warned that a political and constitutional crisis was imminent and that this would have a devastating effect on the economy.

Sadly, it is the ordinary Zimbabweans who will again be the victims. – SW Radio Africa News

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