THE failure by the MDC formations to form an electoral pact cost them the July 31 elections where Zanu PF won resoundingly, a report from Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT) says.
According to veteran academic Brian Raftopoulos’ analysis in the report released last Friday, Zanu PF’s surprise victory was a result of the party’s hard work and blunders by President Robert Mugabe’s opponents.
The report noted that the failure by the two MDCs to form an electoral pact cost the parties eight seats in Matabeleland South due to split votes.
Zanu PF swept all the seats in the province for the first time in years.
The SPT report also says the Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube-led parties would have won 11 out of the 13 seats in Matabeleland North had they contested as a united front. SPT’s report titled The End of A Road: The 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe predicts that July 31 could have marked the death of opposition politics in the country in its current form.
“It is fair to conclude that the politics of opposition, both party and civic that emerged in the 1990s and continued through the first 13 years of the 2000s has come to an end in its current form.
“The political and economic conditions that gave rise to its emergence have changed substantially, even if the challenges facing the country remain Herculean,” the report said.
“For Zanu PF, the major task ahead is to deliver on its election manifesto in the face of enormous odds. This will most likely give rise to new battles within the ruling party and provide new opportunities for the emergence of critical voices. The battle for broader democratisation continues.”
The report said Zanu PF went back to the drawing board after its electoral defeat in 2008, coming up with strategies that the MDC formations could not match.
“A combination of coercion, consent and political blockages in the context of a reconstituted social base served to provide the MDCs with a formidable political challenge,” part of the report reads.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai insists the elections were rigged and has refused to recognise Mugabe’s victory.