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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Ballot update: October - November 2013
    Zimbabwe Election Support Network
    November 27, 2013


    The 2013 harmonised elections have come and gone. With them came expectations of promises made by the ruling party Zanu-PF for the creation of employment, increase access to housing, rehabilitate buildings, revamp all sectors of the economy including health and education. These promises come against a backdrop of over 90% unemployment and more that 90 per cent unutilised industrial capacity. The new government has a lot of work ahead to realign the laws with the new Constitution. Citizen awareness of the constitution is key hence the need for all stakeholders to publicize, promote and increase knowledge of the constitution amongst citizens.

    This update is informed by observations from the country’s 210 constituencies and broadly captures national political developments in Zimbabwe. For comments and feedback email: or

    Issue Comment
    Post the 31st of July Harmonised elections
    Post the 31st July harmonised elections, observers report a wait and see attitude that is expectant in the various constituencies. There is an expectation for the fulfillment of the promises made during the campaigns as provided in the Zanu-PF manifesto. At the same time observers have reported fears of regression to the 2008 socio- economic environment. According to observers, political parties have formulated strategies that are need based to lure support and in this season farm inputs and food distribution seem to take the lead. There has not been much improvement in terms of the social and economic fabric of the country with the same challenges of power cuts, water cuts, poor roads and unemployment continuing. The plight of poor citizens has been further worsened by demolitions and threats of demolitions to “illegal settlers.” The unsettling thing about these demolitions is that they come after the election yet they mushroomed in the pre-election era and the people were registered to vote there and they in fact voted, after the vote the settlements become “illegal”. While ZESN does not condone illegal settlements, it is important The MDC-T has withdrawn most petitions that challenged the election results owing to a number of factors including the prohibitive security deposit of $10 000 and a lack of evidence of malpractices in other instances.

    In the period we noted the conviction of Mr Morgan Komichi to 320 hours of community service. This seemed unreasonable considering the three months he had spent in the cells being denied bail.

    Victory celebrations for winning candidates Observers reported the holding of victory celebrations in the various constituencies were Zanu-PF won elections. Speeches according to observers in Harare South, Hurungwe West and Mutasa Central were laced with hate speech which is quite disconcerting considering the message of peace being preached by the Organ on National Healing and Integration. There is need for the message of peace and tolerance to be reinforced in Zimbabwe. The rest of the constituencies in Mashonaland provinces, Harare and Midlands not much activity of celebrations have taken place up to now. In Harare South the celebrations like in some other constituencies, were also marked by donating or supporting community projects like potatoes growing. While in Mutasa they have been marked by a sports gala for both the losing candidate and the winner promising to work together for the community.

    Observers also reported positive stories where the winning Zanu-PF candidates informed their constituency that they are an MP for everyone not just their party supporters. This shows signs of political maturity as once voted into office, one should cease to see the political party divide in their constituency but see their constituency as one in which they must serve.

    New government A new government was formed after the elections and as promised the citizens expected some deliverables even within the short space of time that has lapsed since then. The new government has a lot of work to do with realignment and operationalization of the existing laws to the new constitution. Service delivery, the state of the roads in the various constituencies have remained stagnant and with the oncoming rain season, the citizens have expected transformation and increased government support programmes however, this has not yet materialised. The new government is faced with a mammoth task of how to revive the economy, restore confidence and lure Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and create employment.
    Zanu-PF Elections Currently Zanu-PF is conducting Provincial Elections. The elections have experienced a lot of problems including factionalism and threats of violence amid allegations voter rigging, vote buying and other malpractices in the conduct of the elections. So far elections have been held in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Midlands and media reports have indicated that these elections have been marred by bitter power struggles. Elections are still due in other provinces. ZESN urges political parties to promote internal democratic practice.
    Food and input distribution Zimbabwe did not get a good yield as a result there are rampant food shortages in the country which have given rise to the need for food aid. The onset of the agricultural season and the need for inputs has resulted in input distribution schemes. Observers in various constituencies have reported the problems with the distribution processes. Reports of partisan distribution of food aid and inputs have been reported in Gokwe-Sesame, Chireya, Chiwundura, Sanyati, Muzarabani South, Muzarabani North, Mazowe, Bindura South, Muzvezve, Chegutu and Hurungwe West amongst others. It is the responsibility of the government to also assist those in need and as the previous farming seasons have been poor, the yield have not been enough to take families through the year. Food distribution like farming inputs as observers noted have been distributed on party lines preferences. As Zimbabweans on their own have not been able to grow enough food for themselves, it is expected that aid should be equitably distributed to all deserving beneficiaries and thus should not divide the people.
    Conclusion ZESN encourages all citizens to engage with elected leaders to promote development of the country. There is need continue to dialogue with government on critical issues such as health, education, industry and employment among others. ZESN urges all citizens and elected leaders to guard the peace in the country. ZESN welcomes elected leaders who have embraced all constituency members regardless of their perceived political party affiliation. Elected leaders are encouraged to be accountable to the electorate as a whole in their fulfillment of their triple mandate of law making, oversight and development.

    ZESN continues to promote democratic free and fair elections. It is important for the government to prioritise development in all facets. Human rights are key and the government needs to uphold and respect human rights. Electoral reforms are a priority especially voter registration and cleaning up the voters roll. Laws need to be harmonised with the new Constitution.

    ZESN urges ZEC to begin working on the polling station based voters’ roll as provided for in the Electoral Act as amended in 2013 to ensure the completeness, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the voters roll by 2018. the polling station based voters roll will make the voters roll more accessible, easy to correct, complete and accurate as units are smaller than the ward based roll.

    ZESN urges the government to uphold the rights of citizens to shelter and decent living conditions by finding sustainable and durable solutions to the housing issues and not through demolition.

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