Zimbabwe 2023 Elections: A Farce of Democracy and Disenfranchisement
29 July 2023
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By Sithole As Zimbabwe approached its harmonised general election in 2023, concerns about the integrity of the electoral process have been on the rise. Recent events have further intensified skepticism, with several activities raising questions about the state of democracy in the country. The judiciary’s involvement has come under scrutiny, with controversial decisions affecting prominent candidates and raising doubts about the election’s fairness.

In the latest development, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court ruling to exclude Savour Kasukuwere from the ballot. This decision has raised eyebrows, as it adds to the list of candidates facing disqualification. Just a day prior, 12 CCC candidates were barred from contesting, casting shadows over the credibility of the electoral system.

The repeated occurrences of court rulings disqualifying candidates have led many to question the legitimacy of the upcoming elections. Citizens are left wondering where the nation is heading and how long this farce can persist. The situation has sparked public outrage, as it appears that political leaders are using legal mechanisms to stifle opposition and manipulate the election process.

Savour Kasukuwere’s recent tweet about the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) visiting his house has further fueled suspicions of witch-hunting against opposition figures. This move raises concerns about the criminalisation of political participation and undermines the democratic principles that the nation should uphold.

Comparisons to past regimes have emerged, with some expressing the belief that the current administration is worse than the Mugabe and Smith era. Critics claim that the authorities are on a looting spree, seemingly prioritising their interests over the welfare of the nation. The lack of transparency and apparent abuse of power have left citizens disillusioned, with many regretting the initial support for the coup that brought about this regime.

African leaders have also come under criticism for not holding each other accountable and instead blaming external influences for these troubling exercises. Observers note that the reluctance to address these issues directly only serves to perpetuate an environment of injustice and disenfranchisement.

Recent incidents involving the imprisonment of opposition figures, Jacob Ngarume and Job Sikala, have only added to the atmosphere of intimidation. These actions are viewed as attempts to silence dissenting voices and deter individuals from engaging in the political process.

The courts’ role in disenfranchising the population cannot be ignored. Instead of serving as guardians of justice, the judiciary’s actions have raised suspicions that they may be operating to protect the interests of those in power, undermining the trust of the people in the electoral system.

As the nation approaches the 2023 elections, it is imperative for leaders to address the growing concerns and work towards a more transparent and fair electoral process. Respect for democracy and the protection of citizens’ rights to participate in politics without fear of persecution or disqualification should be at the core of Zimbabwe’s electoral landscape. Only through genuine efforts to uphold democratic principles can Zimbabwe move towards a future where the will of the people is genuinely represented.