2023 harmonised elections have largely been depicted as a battle between the two “Big Men” – President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu-PF and Nelson Chamisa of the leading opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Significant media attention focused on the uneven playing field between the ruling party and the opposition.
Another concern distinct to this election was the stark decline in the number of women candidates nominated by the main political parties for direct election.
We are working on a three year research project with a focus on the representation of women in politics in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe as well as gendered electoral violence. This project seeks to explore barriers to women’s participation in politics in Africa and pathways forward, initially researched in the book Gendered Institutions and Women’s Political Representation in Africa.
Zimbabwe ranks low in measures of gender parity in southern Africa.
IN a show of solidarity with Zimbabwe, two principal members of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security – except Zambia – have endorsed President Mnangagwa’s victory in last week’s harmonised elections, further exposing the discredited Preliminary Report produced by the Sadc Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) led by Dr Nevers Mumba.
The SADC Troika, which is responsible for promoting peace and security in the region, is currently chaired by Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema and the other two members are Namibia (immediate past chairperson) and Tanzania (deputy chairperson).
Namibia and Tanzania have since endorsed President Mnangagwa and pledged to continue working with the Second Republic, leaving Dr Mumba and his handlers with egg on their faces
The main regional bloc in southern Africa and the African Union declined to rubber stamp the elections and cast doubt on a vote that led to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election. The presidential election in Zimbabwe last week that kept the governing party in power and was widely criticized as dubious is likely to isolate the country further from the United States and other Western nations. But it has also exposed Zimbabwe to increased scrutiny and pressure from a surprising place: its neighbors in southern Africa.
Before President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of a second term on Saturday, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union publicly questioned the legitimacy of Zimbabwe’s elections for the first time.
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa and Zanu PF will not give away their unassailable electoral victory in the just ended harmonised elections as Zimbabwe’s Constitution does not provide for a re-run of elections at the behest of a losing political party or candidate, let alone an international organisation.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the law was clear on the legal remedies available to an aggrieved political party or candidate and an opposition party-induced electoral re-run is not one of them.
The Commonwealth Election Observer Mission this afternoon bade President Mnangagwa farewell where they reaffirmed their endorsement of the just-ended harmonised elections saying they were done in a professional manner.
Head of Mission, Ambassador Amina Mohamed said they were encouraged by the professionalism and efficiency in which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission handled the polls.
The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) has thrown its weight behind the Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) call for fresh elections in Zimbabwe.
The opposition party says the fresh polls must be supervised by SADC, the African Union and other progressive parties.
ZAPU agrees with the position taken by CCC, saying the 2023 elections were a farce.
“Well done CCC. Glad we are finding each other. We reject this sham in total. Both the process and the results. Now let’s converge and build,” said the party.
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said that Zimbabweans now face another five years of “frightening” grinding poverty, corruption and underdevelopment after ZANU PF won the 2023 Harmonised Elections.ZANU PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa won 52.6% of the votes cast thereby avoiding a run-off.
Biti has implored SADC to ensure that it finds lasting solutions to Zimbabwe’s perennial problems after the regional body condemned the manner in which the 23 to 24 August elections were conducted. Said Biti:
It’s “de javu” once more. Another contested and bitter election. A ritualistic process rejected even by the pro-status regional body SADC.
To Zimbabweans, it is a prospect of a further 5 years of attrition, poverty, extraction, corruption and underdevelopment that is most frightening.
In its International migration statistics report released yesterday, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) director general Taguma Mahonde said the number of holiday visitors, however, increased.
“Visitors who came to Zimbabwe for educational purposes in the second quarter of 2023 decreased by 172,2% from the second quarter of 2022,”Mahonde said.
There were 2 345 educational visitors in the quarter ending June 2023 compared to 6 382 in the quarter ending June 2022.
“The number of holiday visitors in the second quarter of 2023 increased from 133 427 in the second quarter of 2022 to 170 474 in the quarter ending June 2023, showing an increase of 27,8%.”
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has officially gazetted the re-election of President Mnangagwa for a second five-year term following his victory in last week’s harmonised elections.
An extraordinary gazette published yesterday also proclaimed names of those who have secured seats in both houses of Parliament and in local authorities.
The gazetting of the names follows the verification of results by ZEC and the subsequent declaration by the electoral body’s chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba of President Mnangagwa as the duly elected winner of the Presidential poll.
For the second consecutive presidential election, President Mnangagwa of Zanu PF beat his closest challenger, Mr Nelson Chamisa of the CCC party.
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has demanded fresh elections supervised by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) as the United States revealed that it was engaging regional leaders over last week’s disputed polls. Party leader, Nelson Chamisa has refused to accept defeat after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the largely controversial polls held on August 23 and 24.
A number of election observers have flagged the polls as not credible and failing to meet local, regional and international guidelines on holding free, fair and credible elections.
The Sadc election observer mission issued a damning report, attracting angry outbursts from Harare, the ruling Zanu PF party and its supporters.
“The legal framework could provide an adequate basis to conduct elections in line with international standards espoused by Zimbabwe, if implemented properly. However, the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) concludes that curtailed rights and lack of level playing field led to an environment that was not always conducive to voters making a free and informed choice in Zimbabwe’s 2023 Harmonised Elections”, stated EU EOM Chief Observer Fabio Massimo Castaldo today in Harare.
Zimbabwean authorities have raided the offices of an election watchdog, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, and arrested dozens of activists as chaos continues to characterise the country’s second general elections after the fall of longtime strongman Robert Mugabe.
Heavily armed Zimbabwean police details arrested 40 civil society activists on Wednesday night who were monitoring results coming from voting centres countrywide after Zimbabweans inconclusively cast their ballots in polls that have been described by the main opposition as “shambolic”.
Human rights lawyers expressed concern that the activists from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and Election Resource Centre (ERC) were “being held incommunicado” after they were arrested by a police crack team on Wednesday night – making it difficult for their legal representatives to assist them.