It is so laughable listening to ruling ZANU PF leaders touting its just ended provincial elections as a sign of “democracy at work”, and even going as far as ridiculously lauding them as a “resounding success”, with no one having been a loser since this was “healthy contestation”.
Are these leaders serious?
Are they living on the same planet as the rest of us?
Could they genuinely be expecting their party to go back to “normal”, and the various contesting individuals to accept that these elections were just another “healthy exercise in democracy” – after which, they can shake hands, hug, and work together?
Let us just picture this…
Tawanda and Taurai are contesting for a powerful political party office, and the latter unleashes his youths to savagely beat up the former – leaving him for dead – after which, an irate and vengeful Tawanda plots to have Taurai kidnapped and even assassinated…all in an attempt to eliminate the other from the race.
These brutal fights do not, however, stop there, as Taurai schemes to have Tawanda arrested on attempted kidnapping and murder charges – yet, these are squashed by virtue of Tawanda’s connections with higher powers.
Come election time, Taurai wins the elections – which, Tawanda fiercely disputes, alleging rampant rigging and fraud.
Surely, if we are to be serious – can anyone in his right mind genuinely expect these two to kiss and make up, regarding all that happened as mere “healthy democratic contestation”, and hope to unite and work together “for the good of the party”?
This illustration is not far from accurately capturing the barbaric shenanigans that took place during the recent violent, bruising, and heavily disputed ZANU PF provincial elections – which were characterized by allegations of assassination attempts, physical vicious confrontations, deployment of law enforcement agents to persecute fellow rivals, vote-buying, name-dropping, security forces accused of locking out polling agents from vote counting, and all manner of underhand and despicable activities.
Yet, after all this, there are those who actually appear to believe that this will be acceptable as “normal”, and “democracy at work” within the ruling party – in fact, as something that should be envied and emulated by the entire nation!
Are we, as the people of Zimbabwe, now expected to copy how ZANU PF conducts their shambolic, shameful, and violent internal elections – as some gold standard of how we should behave as a country during our national plebiscites?
If so, then we are in real trouble as a people – as a matter of fact, our very existence as a civilized nation is in grave danger, if this barbarity is to be regarded as “democracy”, by any stretch of the imagination.
What we witnessed over the past few months – as a run-up to these disgraceful elections – should be, instead, viewed with utter disdain (to be frowned down upon), as clearly this posed a national security threat.
Let us not forget that this is the same political party that has not known any internal “healthy democratic contestation” for its president (and first secretary) ever since it was established in August 1963 – thereby, resorting to the undemocratic and underhand overthrowing of leaders (when Robert Gabriel Mugabe ousted their first leader Ndabaningi Sithole in 1975), and even a military coup d’etat (as occured in November 2017 when Mugabe was removed and replaced by Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa).
As the ruling party seeks to legitimize and sanitize its just ended circus of elections – the nation is fully aware that these obvious undemocratic and outright brutal elective processes are exactly what we have been experiencing at national level ever since the country attained independence from Britain in 1980.
If there were still any doubters – now they should have a clearer picture of precisely what ZANU PF means when they claim that Zimbabwe has always held “free, fair, and credible democratic elections”.
We now understand what ZANU PF means by that statement – as we witnessed it over the recently held internal elections.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org