Stolen Elections yet again in Zimbabwe
Logistical Failures and Missing Ballot Papers
General elections were held throughout Zimbabwe on 23 and 24 August 2023 for one presidential seat, 210 parliamentary seats and 1,770 council seats to be elected for a five year term. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported that in 5 wards in Manicaland citizens were not able to vote at all because of logistical difficulties of the ZEC, including the failure of ballot papers to arrive. Voting in another 35 wards was delayed, 11 of these wards were in the capital of the country, Harare, which is a stronghold for the opposition. This ultimately lead to ZEC declaring 24 August 2023, as an additional voting day. Although, according to Zimbabwean law, voting is required to take place within one day.
There were overnight queues. There were reportedly delays of up to 10 hours in opposition stronghold areas. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission acknowledged the late distribution of ballot papers at some polling stations and blamed it on printing delays. “Select capable men from all the people - men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials...” Exodus 18:21
Most seriously, 41 independent poll monitors /observers were arrested during the election. Numerous accusations of vote rigging were made. There is no way that the recent Zimbabwean elections can be declared free and fair, as confirmed by observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with widespread reports of voter intimidation and the cancellation of opposition rallies. Observers also listed censored media coverage (the State controls the news media, print, radio and TV in Zimbabwe) and new, draconian laws like the Patriotic Bill, which authorizes penalties, including the death penalty, for anyone found guilty of "willfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe." The vague wording gives authorities ample scope to use and abuse the bill against political opponents. Election Day itself was shambolic, with polling stations in opposition strongholds far more likely to experience significant delays and inadequate materials than others. Ruling party agents intimidated voters at “exit poll” tables where they recorded citizens’ personal details before they voted, while disinformation campaigns discouraged people from turning up to vote at all. Independent journalists and election observers were denied entry to the country, and local observers working on the parallel vote tabulation were arrested. "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption…" 2 Peter 2:19
Foreign Journalists Banned and Independent Observers Arrested
Official Results Questioned
Officially, according to the ZEC: the ruling Marxist party, Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) won 136 seats and the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change( CCC ) won 73, with ZANU–PF dominating most rural areas (primarily Mashonaland) and the opposition CCC capturing the urban vote, particularly Harare and Bulawayo and Matabeleland. Officially, the ZEC election commissioner announced on Saturday that: Zanu-PF President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 80, won the election with 52.6% of the vote, while opposition Citizens’Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa,45 years old, received 44% of the votes. According to the official results, Zanu-PF presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa got 2.46 million votes, or 52% of the votes cast, compared with the Citizens Coalition for Change candidate Nelson Chamisa’s 2.15 million votes, or 45% of the votes cast. The opposition has rejected the results and outside observers have raised serious questions about the process. “They stole your voice and vote but never your hope,” Chamisa wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. “There shall be freedom and justice in Zimbabwe!”( Fortunately, the people of Zimbabwe have more freedom of speech than those in United States of America where questioning the official election results can get one arrested.) The main opposition party, in Zimbabwe, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), has rejected the official election results and demanded that the country should redo the election. Saviour Kasukuwere, a former Zimbabwean Cabinet Minister disqualified from running for the presidency by the High Court, said that Zimbabweans were "dismayed" and that the whole process was a "charade." Kasukuwere, declared that the ZANU-PF government has “No legitimacy.” "We can't continue with this charade where you want to keep the country in isolation because you want to win elections illegally,"
In the words of veteran opposition leader and former Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Tendai Biti:
“Millions of Zimbabweans hoped for change. They hoped to be delivered from the scourge of unemployment, poverty, decayed infrastructure, collapsed public services, captured institutions, violence and an exhausted liberation movement that continues to hold them hostage.” The opposition immediately contested the results, with Chamisa calling the vote "fraught with unprecedented illegality." Speaking on Sunday, the CCC head described the ZEC election results as "doctored" and "criminal." Chamisa describes the Zimbabwe elections as: “blatant and gigantic fraud.” “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34
The Failure of South Africa's Silent Diplomacy with a Murderous Regime
Evidently South Africa’s "silent diplomacy" with Zimbabwe has been an abysmal failure and has instead increased the humanitarian burden on South Africa and other neighbouring states which accommodates millions of refugees who have fled from the failed state of Zimbabwe. As ActionSA leader Mashaba has declared:"But instead of demanding accountability from Zanu-PF, the ruling ANC party has chosen to support the murderous ZANU-PF regime and has even provided millions of dollars in bailouts to the nation. The ruling party(ANC) has repeatedly allowed Zanu-PF to abuse the Zimbabwean people, leading to thousands of Zimbabweans crossing our borders to seek jobs, healthcare, and shelter in South Africa."
" We cannot allow a situation where humanitarian disasters are created because the South African government favours murderous regimes instead of demanding accountability for human rights abuses," said the ActionSA leader. “…Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore, the wrath of the Lord is upon you.” 2 Chronicles 19:2
The official results of the Zimbabwean elections held last week are that Zanu-PF won, yet again!
What we are being asked to believe is that one of Africa’s least successful political parties (which managed to reduce GDP per capita in real terms from $1,600 at independence in 1980 to under $1,300 today, 50 years later, in real terms after several bouts of hyperinflation which destroyed almost everybody's savings, pensions and earnings) has been endorsed, yet again, by the majority of its citizens. Either Zimbabweans are the most intellectually challenged and economically benighted people in the world, or there is something suspicious going on here. “Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
US State Department recognises that the elections in Zimbabwe were unfree and unfair
The United States condemned recent presidential elections in Zimbabwe. The US State Department says that the ruling party suppressed the opposition and hindered independent observers. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declared in a statement Monday: “We call on the ZEC to make the disaggregated polling station results publicly available to increase confidence in the result tabulation process,”. Miller said the reported intimidation and interference with electoral observers undermines democratic rule and U.S. diplomats are discussing their concerns with regional leaders. The U.S. has a long history of financial and political support for Zimbabwe and was the first to open an embassy there after independence in 1980. Just in fiscal year 2022, the U.S. provided $398.59 million in aid to Zimbabwe. US assistance also included $12.91 million to support democracy, human rights and governance in Zimbabwe.
Comparing Zimbabwe Elections and Economy with Botswana
Compare this disastrous, downward economic trajectory with Botswana next door; Botswana is also landlocked, also the product of British colonialism, also dominated by a single party, also mineral export-dependent. Botswana’s GDP per capita in real terms has risen from around $2,000 in 1980, according to economics website Trading Economics, to $7,000 over the same period. South Africa’s was about $4,500 in 1994 when the ANC were handed power, and it’s now around $6,000. It is generally accepted that any government of a country where the economy is in decline will be voted out of office by the electorate. It is unprecedented that voters who are suffering economically vote for the government under whom their economy declined. Zimbabwe suffers from soaring inflation, high unemployment, poor public health resources and a weak education system. Although it is full of natural resources, such as gold, platinum and lithium, mismanagement and corruption hasn’t translated those minerals into substantial revenue to benefit the population, leaving the government in massive debt to international lenders, particularly Red China. “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting...” Daniel 5:27
Neither Free nor Fair
According to the Zimbabwe observer missions, the elections were far from free and fair. International election observers stressed that there had been problems with the poll. They cited an atmosphere of intimidation against Chamisa's CCC supporters. Even the SADC Electoral Observation Mission, which is normally very cautious about making forthright judgements, said the poll was “well below expected standards”. The mission talked about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s failure to distribute ballots on time, resulting in delayed polls in some parts of the country; the inability of voters in Manicaland to cast any votes, the banning of foreign journalists and opposition rallies; and a shadowy group called Forever Associates Zimbabwe linked to Zanu-PF, which set up “survey desks” outside polling stations in an intimidatory manner towards voters. No reasonable person would call these elections fair, which is why several observer missions, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union, issued statements pointing to profound flaws in the process. But the deck was stacked well before these observer missions arrived on the ground. The pre-election climate featured draconian new legal restrictions on freedom of expression and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which is blatantly politicized and widely mistrusted, tilted the playing field in multiple ways, including undertaking a partisan delimitation exercise that failed to account for the growth of Zimbabwe’s urban centres and neglecting to fulfil its legal duties of making an accurate electronic voters’ roll available to candidates. Rural areas which are the traditional support bases of ZANU have many more seats, whereas urban areas which are traditional strongholds of the opposition have far fewer seats proportional to their population. “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice.” Isaiah 1:16-17
The violation of the Lancaster House Agreement and the Fraudulent 1980 Elections
ZANU-PF came to power through blatantly fraudulent elections in 1980 where they failed to adhere to the requirements of the Lancaster House peace agreement and engaged in massive intimidation and terrorism, murdering opposition supporters and assassinating opposition candidates. Yet, the British Governor Lord Christopher Soames failed to disqualify Mugabe’s ZANU-PF as required by the Lancaster House agreement.
Nor did Gov Soames rule inadmissible the votes in areas where ZANU-PF intimidation had been rife. By rewarding the blatant violations and ignoring the murderous intimidation tactics, the British Foreign Office taught Mugabe’s Marxist ZANU-PF terrorists that it did not matter how many laws they violated, nor how many people they murdered, as long as they won the election, they would be accorded every courtesy, welcomed as members of the Commonwealth, the African Union and the United Nations and receive hundreds of millions of pounds and dollars in foreign aid. Having come to power through deception and violence, ZANU has continue to maintain its power through deception and violence. Zimbabwe's security forces have a history of cracking down on protesters around election time. This happened in the last national elections in Zimbabwe, 2018, when soldiers killed six people after opening fire on demonstrators and bystanders, and in 2008, which saw dozens of deaths and abductions. "Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16
Historic Voting Patterns in Zimbabwean Elections
If you look at Zimbabwe’s elections historically, you cannot help but notice some absolutely extraordinary things. We cannot tell what happens in the voting booths, but one thing we do know is how many votes were cast. The first noticeable thing about Zimbabwe is that the proportion of people who are registered voters is very small compared with the population. Supposedly, officially, there are 16 million Zimbabwean citizens. That means 35% of the total population is registered. Compare that with SA, where about 40% are registered, and Namibia, with about 53% registered. The small proportion of voters registered in Zimbabwe is suspiciously low. The second thing to notice is that in Zimbabwe’s case, when you compare the past three elections, the number of registered voters is declining. That is quite bizarre. How can that possibly be happening? In a young country, it should be increasing as more of the youth reach voting age. That is what is happening in South Africa and Namibia. South Africa adds about a million new voters per election.
Yet, incredibly, even though the number of registered voters is declining, the number of votes cast is increasing in Zimbabwe. The percentage of votes cast as a proportion of registered voters has exploded — it’s now sitting at 85%. So, in this past election, we are supposed to believe that 85% of registered Zimbabwean voters cast their votes. By comparison, in both SA and Namibia, the number of votes cast as a percentage of registered voters is about 70% and that, by international standards, is extremely high.
You can get some very high and very low voter turnouts around the world. Brazil has just had one of the most fiercely contested elections in its history in which 79% of registered voters voted. The UK’s most recent election, also hotly contested, drew about 67% of registered voters. But an 85% turnout is extremely rare.
Based on these figures, it would appear that the Zanu-PF supporters, who make up most of the electoral authority, are engaging in that old trick of the incumbent government: they are not updating the voters’ roll unless the voters can be relied on to vote the right way. Unfortunately, inevitably, some voters are dying, so that reduces the total voters’ roll. And that would, of course, inflate the proportion of votes cast, which is exactly what we are seeing. There are also reports of votes for the ruling party from citizens who are deceased.
By controlling the ballot in this way, Zanu-PF can effectively steal the election — but subtly. Doing so is never going to be entirely invisible. But the point is that it can be stolen in a way that offers a sufficient amount of doubt which will allow the party to make the claim, dubious as it may be, that it and the president were democratically elected. This was not a poll “below expected standards”. It was an obviously fraudulent poll, a stolen election. “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14
you can listen to the radio programme: How the Recent Elections in Zimbabwe were Stolen here: https://soundcloud.com/user-779428885/the-real-story-of-how-the-recent-elections-in-zimbabwe-were-stolen?utm_source=www.frontlinemissionsa.org&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%253A%252F%252Fsoundcloud.com%252Fuser-779428885%252Fthe-real-story-of-how-the-recent-elections-in-zimbabwe-were-stolen
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