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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • General update on Zimbabwe election
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
    August 05, 2013

    The announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission concluded that Mr. Mugabe of Zanu-PF had grabbed 61.09 percent of the vote, while Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T grabbed 33.94 percent and Prof Welshman Ncube of the smaller MDC managed only 2.68%. Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu and little known Kisinoti Mukwazhi who had withdrawn his candidature in support of Mr. Mugabe got less than 1% each. For the House of Assembly, out of 210 constituencies, Zanu-PF grabbed 159, MDC-T 49 and two independent candidates who had been barred from contesting by Zanu-PF also won. Zanu-PF's seats increased from 97 in 2008, while the MDC-T's seats decreased from 99. MDC (Ncube) lost all 10 seats previously secured in 2008. Senatorial allocations, through proportional representation will reflect more or less the House of Assembly outcome. The Local Authorities outlook is not very different from the overall outlook also, in both rural and urban councils. We will share with you a deeper analysis of the figures involved, but more importantly, Zanu-PF through this election, seen as fraudulent by many, now commands a two-thirds majority, an instrument they will use to reverse progressive political and institutional reforms that had been sealed through the new constitution.

    The SADC, AU, SADC-ECF and COMESA Observer Missions seemed to be reading from the same script, with slight variations. Clearly though, all of the missions noted with concern the irregularities before and during the election day. We highlighted these in our previous update on election day.

    The SADC Observer mission, which deployed 573 observers (the largest mission ever deployed by SADC) could only go as far as congratulating ZEC for conducting a free and peaceful election and were not in a position to confirm whether or not the election was fair. The AU was more upfront in identifying irregularities, with a conclusion that although the environment was peaceful, fairness and credibility of the Zimbabwe election was compromised based on the raft of irregularities identified. One thing remained clear though; the call for those aggrieved by the results to approach the courts and not resort to mass action.

    On the other hand, the US State Department through John Kerry, Secretary of State, the UK FCO through William Hague, Foreign Secretary and the EU through Catherine Ashton, High Representative have issued statements that express concern over the election outcome because of the many irregularities as observed by SADC, AU and Local Observer missions, which include the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), among others. Australia, through Foreign Secretary Bob Carr, has gone a step further and called for a re-run of the election using an agreed voters’ roll. Clearly though, the UK, USA and EU have indicated in their statements that they are expecting SADC and the AU to play a prominent role in ensuring that complications arising from the irregularities they observed are dealt with in the interest of building democracy in Zimbabwe.

    One question has kept coming from most of you: What is the mood in Zimbabwe after the announcement of the results? Well, this is not a comprehensive answer but as I am writing from Zimbabwe, I can generally say the reaction is most Zimbabweans were and are still shocked by the outcome. In terms of what needs to be done, there are mixed feelings: some just want to get on with their lives while some feel they should express their discontent through protest. It looks like now and in the near future, many will prefer adjusting to this hard fact and waiting to see what happens next. Hope is not lost though, despite the fact that many may begin to lose faith in electoral processes as a way of freely expressing their preferences in terms of who governs them. With the MDC-T having said they are resorting to taking their challenge to the courts (the same courts that got us to where we are today), most of their supporters are following their leadership, and thus seemingly waiting to see how that process goes.

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