This is something that is hardly mentioned but, in 1980, months before the election that took place after the 1979 Lancaster House treaty, Mugabe’s party went about tearing down the posters of its opponents and at the same time threatening civilians with a return to the bush war if results did not go their way.
Next came the 1985 vote which was only going to go in one direction, as Mugabe and his Fifth Brigade were raping and murdering in Matebeleland and the Midlands. The exiled Joshua Nkomo, who had fled fearing for his life, was never going to stand a chance in the face of violence and state propaganda.
The party’s provincial polls of 2014 were characterised by abductions, violence, intimidation and vote buying. Last year, as the December congress drew nearer, Mugabe decided that the best way for his allies to prevail in an election was to scrap the polls entirely. He rewrote the Zanu (PF) constitution on a whim.