Tafara Shumba Correspondent
With the do-or-die elections now on the horizon, the MDC Alliance is apparently showing signs of panic.
Reality has crossed their minds that the match ahead is a delayed one with a scoreboard that is not so favourable to them.
With that realisation, the only option for the alliance is to try as much as possible to throw spanners into the whole electoral process.
One way was the demonstration in which they intended to “shut down Harare”.
The alliance is demanding electoral reforms despite tremendous efforts in this regard by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Even international bodies have noted with satisfaction the strides made in regard to levelling the electoral playground.
SADC dispatched a high-powered pre-election observer mission into the country. During her visit to Zimbabwe in April, SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said SADC was satisfied with the electoral environment in the country.
“As you are aware, we had an observer mission here, a pre-electoral observer mission, and we have shared a few issues and generally our findings are that you are set for elections.
“Politically, the environment is conducive; the legislative environment is also conducive, pointing to a readiness for elections and also the reform processes which are ongoing.”
A number of missions from Europe and the US have been in the country to assess the pre-election environment. The United Nations has also endorsed election preparations in Zimbabwe.
UNDP administrator Mr Achim Steiner, who was in the country recently, also expressed satisfaction with the election preparations.
“I have met with political leaders across the spectrum of parties.
“So for me this visit was to gain an impression of the preparatory process of the elections. I conveyed to His Excellency that I believe the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Biometric Voter Registration, these are good steps that are laying the foundations for what he has called for, and that is a free, fair and credible election,” said Mr Steiner.
The MDC Alliance’s complaints will find no ear because the world, through various organisations, has certified the electoral environment.
President Mnangagwa has been telling the whole world that the July 30 elections will be the most peaceful, free, fair, credible and transparent elections Zimbabwe has ever had. To show commitment on his pledge, the President has lifted the ban on election observation and, for the first time, the European Union will observe the elections. Zimbabwe is open for election observers because it has no skeletons to hide.
That openness should allay fears of vote rigging. The MDC Alliance has been freely criss-crossing the nation campaigning, even in zanu-pf strongholds. Their supporters are attending the rallies with exuberance, without any case of reprisals reported so far.
They are getting coverage from the State media and a generous one from the private and international media houses, including pirate ones.
The opposition should be thankful instead that they will be participating in the most peaceful election ever since its creation.
One, therefore, wonders why the alliance has suddenly gone into panic mode. The few rallies that zanu-pf has held so far and the recent survey findings pointing to zanu-pf victory must have triggered the anxiety.
The few zanu-pf rallies have been pulling bumper crowds. Outside the urban areas, the MDC Alliance is failing to amass crowds that match those being assembled by zanu-pf aspiring candidates. This is good reason to panic, more so when in some instances like in Nkayi South constituency where an MDC-T aspiring candidate, Jabulani Hadebe, won primary elections by just eight votes.
For the opposition to start crying for reforms at this 11th hour is a sign of insincerity and fear of the elections. In any case, the rule of law must be upheld.
According to the Electoral Law 157(5), “After an election has been called, no change to the Electoral Law or to any other law relating to elections has effect for the purpose of that election.”
They were allowed to freely demonstrate, but it’s now water under the bridge. Their threat to boycott election will not shake anyone because there are over 120 political parties vying for the presidency.
The absence of the MDC Alliance in the race will not stop other parties from participating in the polls.
The revelations in one of the daily papers that Mr Chamisa wrote to President Mnangagwa asking for inclusion in the next Government modelled along the Kenyan set-up is a clear sign that he is aware of his looming fate.