Zimbabwe’s Electoral Currencies

As Zimbabwe introduces a new currency that is already riddled with corruption, I here reflect on its perpetual currency of electoral fraud.

The 1980 Election allocated 57 of the 80 Parliamentary seats to ZANU PF by a non-constituency system of national proportional representation.  This was followed by the relatively peaceful 1985 Election which was preceded by the demarcation of formal Constituencies. As a result ZANU PF increased its Parliamentary share to 64 seats because as the incumbent Government they had judiciously marked out Constituency boundaries using demographics that diluted opposition support. This constituency delimitation is the first electoral corruption currency traded by ZANU PF.

In spite of the calm prior to and during the 1985 Election, the following week saw the then black suburbs of greater Harare sink into a deadly hell of riots which killed six people and injured dozens. Prime Minister Robert Mugabe was blind, deaf and dumb to the pandemonium in the locations for three days while opposition members were being tortured while their houses, cars and property were being stoned, torched or looted. Law enforcement agents such as the police or army were nowhere to be seen for the three days after which they went into action when the Prime Minister announced that there had been “enough violence”.  The late Dr Nathan Shamuyarira (Minister of Information and Tourism 1980 – 87) boasted at a private meeting that that violence had been centrally orchestrated specifically as an advance campaign strategy for the 1990 Election. This extended pre-election violence and intimidation is the second electoral corruption currency traded by ZANU PF.

Zimbabwe is prone to hunger due to either too little rain or too much rain or excessive hailstorms. Food Aid donated by the International Community often circumvents multiparty officials only to be distributed by ZANU PF loyalists who then hand it to fellow loyalists or those who can wield a ZANU PF Membership Card on demand. This selective delivery of Food Aid is the third electoral corruption currency traded by ZANU PF. It is particularly powerful in the Rural Districts where ZANU PF must maintain its stranglehold.

On Election day itself obvious ZANU PF activists employed as official marshals or the sight of Paramilitary Police in riot gear in the vicinity of the Polling Station intimidate opposition voters into voting for ZANU PF or not voting at all, paving the way to pseudo victory by the incumbent Government. Such intimidation constitutes a potent electoral corruption currency.

ZANU PF stealthily manipulates modern technology not only for its selfish ends but especially for the maximum oppression and silencing of Zimbabweans. To this end it is introducing a new electoral corruption currency: the Zimbabwe Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill which will curtail people’s access to each other and to information to which they have a right. We are in trepidation as the 2018 Presidential Elections approach.

Post published in: Featured
  1. Nomusa Garikai
  2. wilbert

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