Why is Zimbabwe tolerating this charade?


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President-Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has done everything by the book since he came to power in November last year. He promised change and the change was there, visible for anyone willing to see to see it.

He promised free, fair, transparent and credible elections and he delivered. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa held more than double the rallies that Mnangagwa held.  Candidates were free to campaign. During his campaign, Chamisa said a lot of things that could have landed him in trouble but Mnangagwa did not want to turn him into a martyr.

Chamisa repeatedly told his supporters that he was going to win the election. If he did not, the elections had been rigged. He threatened to take to the streets if he lost.

The elections went ahead, peacefully, but when Chamisa realised that he was losing he insisted that he had won the elections. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was cooking up the figures, he claimed.

The timetable for the release of the results was published more than month before the poll and the ZEC was still within its timetable. But Chamisa started making the noises to incite people to take to the streets.

While the case is still to go to trial, reports say the Alliance, which only a few days before could not afford to pay its election agents suddenly had plenty of cash to buy its supporters and street people beer to prime them up for violence.

The aim was quite simply to get the elections discredited. The wider goal though was to create chaos so that the West could intervene militarily.

A lot of people have roundly condemned the force that was applied by the military to quell the violence, but it must be obvious to any right thinking person that this show of force was necessary to prevent the perpetrators of the violence from plunging the country into chaos and thus justify outside intervention.

Regrettably lives were lost but the blame must be put squarely on those that sparked the violence.

Chamisa won the first round. Zimbabwe’s elections have now been tainted.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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