Thursday, July 18, 2024

Zimbabwe: Country Heading for Disputed Elections – Think Tank

THINK tank, Institute for Security Studies Africa, says disputed polls are brewing in Zimbabwe as the current election regulatory framework falls short in conforming to the regional guidelines.

Zimbabwe heads into elections next month to elect members of the national assembly, council, and the President.

Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa and CCC’s Nelson Chamisa will be the main protagonists.

Mnangagwa and Chamisa were key players in the 2018 disputed polls that had to be settled in the Constitutional Court after the latter cried foul alleging rigging and electoral malpractice.

In a statement, ISS said current conditions in Zimbabwe paint a gloomy picture as far as the electoral playing field, predicting a recurrence of 2018.

“Zimbabwe is on course for another contested election. Current conditions don’t conform with the Southern African Development Community’s election guidelines, nor do they provide an even electoral playing field. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has perfected the use of non-violent coercion to intimidate people into acquiescence.

“Over the past five years, the democratic space has narrowed as the law has been weaponized, opposition members and activists prosecuted, and COVID-19 regulations used to shut down civic and political activism,” read the statement.

Zimbabwe’s build-up to elections has been characterised by barring of opposition rallies by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) while Zanu PF has enjoyed a free space.