Village Rhapsody: Zimbabwe’s opposition needs to fight for clean polls

Mwonzora's request to delay the general elections has drawn criticism from even data analysts who claim his timing and motivation are questionable.

OPPOSITION political parties in Africa remain divided with fragmented ideas that serve the best interest of the ruling parties.

It is true that opposition political parties have been in competition with conflicting ideologies that make it difficult to unseat entrenched ruling parties.

This raises questions about how a divided opposition can keep the country safe from a one-party state?

As Zimbabwe’s political parties turn to the 2023 general election expected between July and August, much of the opposition has found itself in a crisis that began long after independence.

There was uproar after the recently-gazetted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) delimitation report that showed new constituency and ward boundaries.

Opposition parties, legal experts and election watchdogs poked more holes in the proclaimed Zec delimitation report pointing out a litany of alleged constitutional irregularities and anomalies.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa also highlighted some gaps that needed attention in the delimitation report.

It is, however, ironic that the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa has indicated its preparedness for the forthcoming 2023 election despite the controversial issues around the delamination report and voters' roll.

But if Zanu PF is announced the winner of the 2023 election, CCC will seek global attention  citing the same issues like the delimitation report, electoral fraud and lack reforms.

All these issues must be addressed before elections, probably forcing Zec to revert to the old delimitation report.

However, if Zimbabwe fails to hold elections this year, Zec would have acted against the constitution.

The High Court recently agreed to hear an urgent chamber application filed by opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora who wants the Constitutional Court to nullfiy Zec’s delimitation report for allegedly failing to consider 2022 census results, among other things.

Mwonzora submitted an application for a redo of the contentious delimitation exercise, which might delay elections that are scheduled for later this year.

Mwonzora's request to delay the general elections has drawn criticism from even data analysts who claim his timing and motivation are questionable.

They do, however, believe that Mwonzora's arguments in his court application, in which he also questions the veracity of Zec's delimitation report, are well-founded.

CCC should have also taken a bold stance to support Mwonzora’s application since they had also previously pointed out a number of irregularities concerning the Zec delimitation report despite their differences.

Going into an election without addressing all irregularities is suicidal to CCC as the party will not survive long after a defeat.

It’s time for the opposition to refrain from politics of revenge but to unite for the one common goal to remove Zanu PF, even though it may be late considering the country is just a few months before its presidential election.

Hillary Clinton statement that said: “I will fight against the divisive politics of revenge and retribution. If you put me to work for you, I will work to lift people up, not put them down,” must jolt Zimbabwe’s opposition into deep introspection.

  • Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his personal capacity. For feedback email: [email protected] or call 0719770038 and Twitter @EvansMathanda19

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