Past elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by intimidation and violence which has resulted in the death of hundreds of opposition activists and the Bikita West by-election proved that free ad fir elections remain a pipe dream in Zimbabwe.
Like in the past years, elections in Zimbabwe continue to be associated with violence and intimidation.
In Bikita West, senior army personnel as well as Zanu (PF) officials openly threatened to unleash violence in the vent that Zanu (PF) loses the by-election ad this would justify any contestation of the outcome of the Bikita West by-election.
Zanu PFâ€™s resolve to win the Bikita West by election at all costs (including violence and intimidation) culminated in the attack of National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) candidate, Madock Chivasa and his campaign manager by knownÂ Zanu (PF) sympathizers.
Zanu (PF) also went on a vote buying spree and this included manipulating hungry teachers who were directed to campaign for the ruling party.
Partisan distribution of food aid and farming inputs was also part of the vote buying spree by Zanu (PF) and the Bikita West by-election was flout with a lot of electoral irregularities and should thus be dismissed given the fact that conditions that prevailed before, during and after the election were far from meeting the standards of free and fair polls.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is concerned that Zimbabwe is far from meeting the standards of free and fair elections whose results are uncontested.
Violence, intimidation, a partisan traditional leadership, as well as vote buying using the farm inputs scheme (Command Agriculture) remain Zanu PFâ€™s tools for winning elections. The situation has been worsened by the partisan conduct of the security services who have often defied the Constitution to unleash violence and campaign for Zanu (PF) during elections.
Zanu (PF) has also ensured that the Zimbabweâ€™s Electoral Commission (ZEC) is staffed with its sympathizers and this has reduced the confidence of ordinary Zimbabweans in the ability of the commission to preside over free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
It is quite evident that Zanu (PF) has an overbearing influence on the operations of ZEC and thus maintains an unfair advantage during elections and this is likely to continue into 2018.
There are genuine fears of violence and loss of lives in 2018 given the violence that obtained in Bikita West and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is concerned that the next elections could be nothing but a costly charade with pre-determined outcomes.Post published in: Featured