Zanu PF not ready for polls

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NOMINATION courts will sit across the country to receive candidates for the forthcoming harmonised elections that Zanu PF has been pushing for at all costs.

Southern Eye Editorial

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have been calling for the elections since 2010 — just a few months after the formation of the inclusive government — a stance that raised questions about their commitment to reforms.

The impression created by Zanu PF was that it was ready for elections anytime and Mugabe even accused his opponents of being afraid of the ballot.

However, the conduct of the Zanu PF primary elections, which the party was still struggling to conclude on the eve of the sitting of nomination courts yesterday, exposed who was not ready for elections.

The polls were chaotic and were marred by allegations of rigging, violence sabotage and vote-buying.

In Matabeleland South, there were allegations of rigging with some voters being turned away as they did not appear on the party’s voters’ roll. Zanu PF had to pester supermarkets for cardboard boxes that were used as ballot boxes and officials resorted to using bond paper at the 11th hour to make ballot papers.

In worst cases, the chaotic conduct of the polls led to violence in areas such as Zvimba and Kwekwe where a winning candidate was allegedly assaulted by a minister’s wife.

Other curious incidents included the attempted theft of ballot boxes in the Midlands by party youths.

It is clear that the sitting of the nomination courts will not mark the end of the Zanu PF drama. A number of disgruntled candidates have threatened to stand as independents and we are likely to see more being revealed about the deficit of the primary polls.

Attempts to potray Zanu PF as an organised party while demonising its opponents have fallen flat with the chaotic elections.

This is not to say that other main parties such as MDC-T and MDC did not have their own challenges when they chose candidates.

However, Zanu PF must stop fooling itself that it is ready for elections because the primaries exposed the true state of the party.
Zanu PF has been weighed down by factionalism, corruption, greed and violence. All these traits were visible for all to see this week and more evidence of the rot is likely to emerge as we trudge towards the rushed elections whether on July 31 or August 14.