Zim Elections, “The More They Change The More They Become The Same.”
6 June 2018
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Discent Bajila

By Discent Bajila|I have studied Zimbabwe elections from 1899 to date. The first dispute in elections was around 1911 when William Fairbridge prove in court that winning MP Raleigh Grey’s agents were involved in misconduct during the campaigns. The electoral court found that Grey’s agents in Marandellas (now Marondera) had provided free food and drinks to people and invalidated his victory. At that time only white males above the age of 21 with property worth £75 and above could vote.

107 years later, food for votes remains an issue.

The first defection was recorded in 1925 when several MPs from both sides of the House came together and established a new organization which campaigned for depoliticisation of the civil service, end to monopolies, a pro-white immigration policy and the development of Matebeleland.

93 years later some of these issues remain topical electoral debates.

The first primary elections were held by ZANU PF in 1990. Several party bigwigs including Joyce Mujuru, lost in their constituencies that year but rules were changed to ensure that they stand despite the fact that they lost.

28 years later we still have the same problem with primary elections.

Truly, the more things change, the more they become the same.

If in 1925, some rich white people understood that there’s need to treat development in Matebeleland differently and if in 1925 some people who ruled by conquest still understood that it was important to demilitarise the civil service, why are we having these issues still on the table today?

If primary elections in 2018, are giving us the problems they gave us in 1990 and we are still stuck with 1990 solutions, why haven’t we developed other methods of candidate selection?

We can do better, we must do better.

Discent Bajila is the MDC Youth Secretary General and this piece was extracted from his Facebook page.