The End of a Road: The 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe

2013 MDC-T campaign poster

A battered campaign poster for Presidential hopeful, Morgan Tsvangirai, in an election that left the opposition bruised and disempowered

‘It’s a paralyzing election result to every one, the future is bleak. They will continue to fill their bellies, while we suffers.’   [Old man, Lupane]

‘I am glad that ZANU PF has won – they have promised us that we can own factories now, so I am waiting to be given part of a factory.’  [Young man, Tsholotsho South]

The 2013 election marked the end of the five-year Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe. The result astounded many, with ZANU PF winning almost 80% of the parliamentary seats. The MDC-T immediately cried foul, citing a host of irregularities including the impact of memories of the violence of 2008, fuelled by ZANU PF threats, and the numbers of voters who were forced to make ‘assisted’ votes, effectively denying them a confidential vote. The shadowy role played by Israeli polling experts remains at the centre of debate.

This report reviews the main political events of the last five years, in particular the constitutional reform process and the continued mediation of SADC. The shift in socio-economic landscape to benefit and entrench ZANU PF is outlined as a key element in their recent election win, as they have moved to embrace and control the peri-urban areas and the informal mining sector with a combination of repressive coercion and material benefits. (Read more…)

Sun, October 6 2013 » 2013, Elections, Reports » Leave a comment

Zimbabwe’s democrats: A luta perdido – e reinício

Robert Mugabe Inaugurated as President for the 7th time

Robert Mugabe Inaugurated as President for the 7th time

By David Moore. David Moore’s 1990 York University (Canada) Phd examined the history of Zimbabwe’s liberation war: the contradictions continue still. Now Professor of Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg, while on sabbatical he is Visiting Scholar at UCT’s Centre for African Studies. This is an altered version of an August 9 publication.

August 1 6:08: from inside a party meeting assessing the damage, the SMS from the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai activist could not have been more different than his “WE HV WON” after Zimbabwe’s March 2008 election. “Bad news” wrote the man who was in seventh heaven at the country’s biggest ever political rally two days before: “We hv bn hit by the unexplainable. Its game over. 5 years with Mugabe again”.

The MDC-T’s hopes for a ‘crossover’ peaked at the rally (twenty per cent being registered, opined one senior observer: I trust that the young fellow who pickpocked me was one of the unregistered masses!). The real crossover contrasted starkly to the hopes of the MDC-T, its civil society supporters, and democrats the world over. It marked a fundamental transformation in Zimbabwe’s polity and social order nonetheless.

The results were soon in: ZANU-PF’s 62 to 34% victory over Zimbabwe’s main opposition in the presidential race and an over two-thirds parliamentary majority guarantee ‘revolutionary party’ power for the next five years. Many words have been spilled saying that this will be Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s last term as president, but it should not be forgotten that after 2005’s elections he said he’d rule until he was a century old. Constitution makers may have stopped this: two terms, up to 10 years, is the limit. Biology willing, the need to maintain a faction-ridden ZANU-PF could stretch his years in power to 99. (Read more…)

Wed, September 4 2013 » 2013, Elections, Zimbabwe Review » Leave a comment

Is Zimbabwe heading towards another disputed election?


By Brian Raftopoulos

As Zimbabwe’s elections on 31 July approach, the Southern African Development Community is under pressure to complete its mandate from 2007.

In September 2008 the three major political parties in Zimbabwe entered an inclusive government following a contested election in June that year. The Global Political Agreement (GPA), as it was called, was facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the facilitation was led by the South African government.

After nearly five years under a very problematic and intensely contested inclusive arrangement, the people of Zimbabwe face another election on the 31st July in a battle for the presidency, parliament and council representatives. The setting of the election date was announced unilaterally by President Mugabe, following a decision by the constitutional court clearly directed by Mugabe’s party. (Read more…)

Mon, July 29 2013 » 2013, Elections, Zimbabwe Update » Leave a comment