Some Zimbabweans are reportedly upset with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for what they say is the opposition’s failure to protect their vote in the March 29 elections. According to presidential vote results released last week by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), a runoff was necessary because no candidate won an outright majority. Some political analyst say although the MDC has been seen as fighting to protect the vote of its supporters, many see the party’s fight as lame because it is unable to seriously challenge the 28 year rule of incumbent President Robert Mugabe.
Glen Mpani is a Zimbabwean political analyst with the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that Zimbabweans will reject outright the Mugabe regime in a run-off.
“Zimbabweans are disappointed with what transpired after the general elections where the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai won the presidential election and the result of the parliamentary election. But I think the way the whole process was handled, Zimbabweans in general are quite despondent, and they are quite disappointed and they are dejected and they have lost confidence in the whole electoral process. Despite some evidence of excitement in other quarters that the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections reflects that despite that the electoral process might be skewed in favor of ZANU-PF they can be able to salvage the victory in an environment that is partisan and biased towards to ZANU-PF ruling government,” Mpani pointed out.
He reckoned that he understands the frustrations some Zimbabweans are expressing about the opposition MDC.
“After any process, people trade accusations and they go through a process of critiquing the process. I think those comments should be taken as valid and should be seen as comments that can aid in any future process that the MDC would like to be engaged in,” he said.
Mpani called on partisans of the opposition MDC to support the opposition in its fight to protect their vote.
“But we need to go back and ask ourselves who is the MDC? The MDC is not Morgan Tsvangirai; the MDC is not Tendai Bitti. They are the leadership. And each and everyone who voted should be pushing their leadership to say this is what we should be doing because if the leadership call to say lets do this and there is very little response, there is nothing that the leadership can do without their followers. So, each and everyone should hold themselves responsible for not having done enough to protect their vote,” Mpani noted.
He said the ruling party would make sure it does everything possible to win the run-of election with or without the opposition participation.
“ZANU-PF has put all indications in the open that they want a predetermined result to ensure that they are going to win. That is why they are beating up supporters they are beating up election observers and they are beating up electoral officials. All these are being done to ensure that they create an environment where they emerge as the winner. That is why the MDC has been saying that the environment does not allow for free and fair election,” he said.
Mpani said there seems to be a ray of hope that Zimbabweans would massively vote against the ruling party again.
“I am convinced that despite all those serious setbacks, despite the fear, the intimidation, and the violence that is within the country, Zimbabweans have reached that point where if another election is announced they are going to go again and express more revulsion of the way they have been governed and the way they have been treated because for them an election is the only avenue that they can be able to show that they are disappointed with this regime,” Mpani said.
Meanwhile, the ruling ZANU-PF party says it is continuing with its campaign with the priority to win the run-off.