Zimbabwe Elections And The Aftermath

On 30 July 2018, Zimbabweans went for the much awaited harmonized elections after the removal of Mugabe from power by the 18 November 2017 revolution .

For the first time in the history of the country they were 23 candidates for the Presidential race and for the first time many people registered to vote especially the youths who constituted 60 % of the registered voters.

The major contenders were Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) Emmerson Mnangagwa (75) and Movement for Democratic Change AllianceNelsonChamisa (40) .Emmerson Mnangagwa of ZANU PF was declared the Presidential winner by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with 50.8% of the vote and Nelson Chamisa 44.3 % .Other smaller parties combined made up the remaining 4.9%.

This election saw Mnangagwa winning mostly in rural areas where more than 67 % of the population stays according to 2012 Census statistics.The reasons for his support is attributed mostly to the ZANU PF redistributive policies to rural based farming and peasant communities in the country side.

They get free farming inputs for their subsistence farming from the government .Most of them are the major beneficiaries of the land revolution which decongested them from arid, dry and disease infested reserve regions where they were forced to settle there by the settler colonialists .

Most of them suffered the brunt of the liberation struggle against colonial bondage and they gave sanctuary to the freedom fighters during the protracted struggle for Zimbabwe. Most of them they have sentimental and emotional attachment to the former liberation movement.

Nelson Chamisa got most of his votes from cities and towns where most of the youths are jobless because of mismanagement of the economy by the ousted Robert Mugabe regime and principally due to the impact of the economic sanctions by western imperialism .

There are almost no workers to talk about in Zimbabwe because of the massive closure of the industries .The effects of the draconian embargo are mostly felt in the cities and towns vis capital flight , companies closure , high cost of living , poor and stagnant salaries , cash shortages in banks , poor service delivery , unemployment , lack of health care facilities and drugs and high cost of education.

For the parliamentary seats ZANU PF pocketed two-thirds majority of the 210 contested seats, meaning ZANU PF won 144 seats and MDC Alliance 61.Mnangagwas narrow victory has been vehemently rejected by Nelson Chamisa and his party of the MDC Alliance who has since filed a petition with the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court to nullify the results or to declare him the winner. The verdict of the case is expected this week, 22 August 2018. This week he was quotedsaying that if the verdict is not in his favour he is going to take to the streets.

Just before the results were announced MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa had declared himself the winner and they took to the streets to violently demonstrate smashing windows of ZANU PF offices and setting on property and vehicles and buses .In the process six people were shot dead as riot police was trying to contain the situation.

These riots were triggered by the MDC Alliance leadership in order to cast aspersions on ZANU PF and taint the whole electoral process and provide a rationale and grounds for the continued embargo by the Western governments against Zimbabwe.

MDC got protests votes and the hungrier and poorer our people , the more votes they get hence the demands for sanctions to stay.

MDC leadership that has been globetrotting lobbying for sanctions just before elections and even after elections have started concocting propaganda about the alleged violence and imaginary human rights abuses by the ruling elite.

US President,Donald Trump signed into law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018 which is an amendment of to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic recovery Act of 2001.

This was done soon after the announcement of ZANU PF victory .USA wants to force and facilitate a Government of National Unity that is why they are renewing the sanctions game plan .The USA and CIA wants to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe.

Many people are misguided to think that if Zimbabwe comply with the democratic and economic reforms, ZIDERA would be lifted.

At the core of the law is a more controversial issue – land reform. On a recent meetingbetween President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the new US ambassador Brian Nichols mentioned “land tenure” as one of the areas on which the Americans want to change. Land has been the fundamental issue which necessitated the enactment of this punitive law.

A central demand of the updated ZIDERA is that Zimbabwe must enforce the rulings of the SADC tribunal on land reform. The SADC tribunal made several important rulings in favour of the white farmers, which the US senators behind the new amended ZIDERA now want enforced as a precondition for re-engagement with the US.

As Socialists we are against agricultural counter-reform serving the interest of the white settlers. The land belongs to the black poor peasants not to capitalists. We don’t support compensation of white farmers as a pre-condition to lift economic sanctions.

The Labor MP from UK, Kate Hoey an extremist from Britain who campaigned for the Zimbabwean sanctions before is now calling for further isolation of Zimbabwe. It is time that the imposition of economic sanctions should be seen as a war crime against humanity since it involves the collective punishment of millions of innocent civilians who die and are reduced to living off scraps from the garbage dumps .They kill more people than bombs because they go on for years and their effect is cumulative.

As Socialists we demand the unconditional removal of the economic sanctions and we lobby the international working class and other progressives to escalate and amplify its global campaign to save Zimbabwe from the bully and tyranny of the USA.

We feel it is the duty of the international proletariat to assist the oppressed countries in their war against the imperialists. According to the Leon Trotsky Transitional Programme the central issues of the colonial and semi colonial countries are:agrarian revolution i.e. the elimination of the feudal legacy and national independence,i.e. the overthrow of the imperialist yoke .Both tasks are closely interconnected.

The elections were declared free and fair by NGOs ,governments and multilateral bourgeoisie institutions who were invited to come and observe the elections these include African Union (AU) , Southern African Development Community (SADC) , Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) , United Nations (UN) , European Union (EU) , United Sates of America , Commonwealth of Nations , China

Mnangagwa has promised to renew the country by implementing neo liberal reforms and austerity programmes and other reforms aimed at lifting of the punitive economic sanctions slapped on the country 20 years ago.

It is yet to be seen if the Zimbabwe is open to business mantra by President Mnangagwa is to benefit the poor and the working class because it looks like the major global powers are warming up to Mnangagwas administration. But to us Socialists opening up the country to global powers and the free world means opening up to rapacious exploitation of the natural resources for the benefit of white monopoly capital.

The 2018 elections in Zimbabwe were largely non beneficial to the poor and the working class in general .The ideas purported by the two protagonists in their election manifestos largely betray socialist ideas, it was a titanic battle of capitalist’s interests in form of neo imperialism.Indegionous economic growth is better than foreign aid. We should be wary of being enticed by the West into believing that they are genuinely willing to assist us, they have permanent interests not permanent friends.ZANU PF is orientated towards Chinese imperialism and the MDC leans towards US and EU imperialism.

We must fight for the poor, peasants and the working class taking over and controlling the means of production.As we mark the 78thanniversary of Leon Trotsky’sassassination, the fight for Trotsky’s ideas remain as relevant as ever as we commemorate the life and ideas of this inspiring revolutionary, theoretician and leader.

More than ever it is necessary to have a strong independent international center to help the vanguard of the working class worldwide to orientate independently.

The author can be contacted at [email protected]


Staff Reporter

The author Staff Reporter