It is not uncommon for the losing party to question the outcome and fairness of votes especially in Africa where elections are marred by various forms of malpractices. This is the situation in Zimbabwe as opposition parties question the fairness of the vote that resulted in a landslide victory for the ruling party in its first parliamentary elections.
Zanu-PF has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. The party which ruled for many years under Robert Mugabe, has been accused of applying every means possible to remain in power.
In 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2013, the party was believed to have manipulated the electoral process and its main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) fear a recurrence in the just concluded elections.
Despite tallying three quarters of legislative vote, opposition parties and advocacy groups have questioned the credibility of the process that brought about the victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party which has already won 110 seats of the 210 National Assembly seats. The Movement for Democratic Change has only won 41 seats, according to the results released so far.
MDC claimed votes were rigged and its candidate Nelson Chamisa won. The opposition party cited deliberate displacement of voters and irregularities of the process.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission said the July 30 elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law. Observers from the African Union also noted that the election was well administered, and the electoral commission prepared adequately, despite some logistical challenges.
Chair of the electoral commission, Priscilla Chigumba, stated that the results must be released on Saturday, August 4 after votes counts from all provinces are received and verified.