Zimbabwe General Election: Government v/s Opposition

Zimbabwe General Election

Opposition politicians are languishing in prison. Government critics and journalists have been persecuted and detained—banned gatherings in public. Even though Zimbabwe general election is still months away, several opposition figures claim they are already facing harsh government repression akin to the iron-fisted rule of the country’s previous president, Robert Mugabe, who passed away in 2019.

Attorney

The resistance to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is intensifying, fueled by deteriorating economic conditions, including inflation at more than 250%, and the development of a well-liked new party. Job Sikhala, an opposition lawmaker who has spent over three months in the harsh Chikurubi jail outside of Harare on suspicion of instigating violence, is one of many caught up in the government’s dragnet.

In his two-decade political career, the fiery 50-year-old Sikhala has been detained more than 65 times, but according to his attorneys, he has never been found guilty of a crime.

“The prosecution knows they won’t be found guilty, which is why they haven’t been granted bail. Beatrice Mtetwa, an attorney, stated that the goal is to make them serve.

Mtetwa asserted that the government’s legal strategies are “lawfare” designed to damage political opponents because “they know they don’t have the facts to prove the charges.”

Zimbabwe’s inflation is currently thought to be among the highest in the world. More people being forced into informal trades like street hawking have fueled criticism of Mnangagwa’s administration. According to the IMF, almost two-thirds of Zimbabweans scratch out a living in the unorganized sector, and it is one of the highest rates in the world.

Public

Few Zimbabwe’s poor people think the recent legalization of gold coins will ease their daily struggles.

Nelson Chamisa, 44, is the founder and leader of the CCC party, which was established in January and has gained an immense support. Police have responded by forbidding the party’s meetings and gatherings of civic associations and religious organizations that they believe to be government opponents in Harare and other cities.

Numerous individuals, including supporters of the opposition, political activists, journalists, religious leaders, trade unionists, and student leaders, have been detained and are now appearing in court on what legal experts describe as harassment-related accusations.

According to the group, Zimbabwe General Election is dealing with “a collapse in the rule of law and constitutionalism; overt militarization of government; brutality in the security sector; political polarization, exclusion, and violence; dwindling civic space; and rampant human rights violations.”

Mnangagwa has recently urged peace while denouncing the opposition and charging those Western nations support it.

It resembles Mugabe’s methods, who employed severe repression against any dissent throughout his 37 years in office. Despite Mugabe being forced to step down in 2017, the same party is still in charge.

Analysts claim that Mnangagwa’s plan to maintain his hold on power is to utilize the military, police, and security forces to keep the opposition in disarray until elections are held next year.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum stated in August that “the current atmosphere bears troubling indicators of the prospect of another violent and contentious electoral season.”

With support from China, ZANU-PF waged a fierce and violent war against the white minority government of Rhodesia throughout the 1970s. Since winning the 1980 elections and taking power with a strong antipathy toward the West and multiparty politics, the guerilla movement has dominated the nation.

According to Alexander Rusero, a political commentator and professor based in Harare, “the complexity of Zimbabwe General Election politics remains one where there was never a genuine metamorphosis of the liberation movement of ZANU-PF into a political party suiting democratic dictates of the 21st century.”

He asserted that “liberation politics” is “influenced by skepticism and the dichotomous classification of citizens as either allies or foes.” “ZANU-PF continues to label activists from civil society organizations and opposition parties as Western stooges. Just as it did during Mugabe’s rule, it will continue to crush them with its power.

Zimbabwe Government

Constitutionally, Zimbabwe is a republic. Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected president of the nation in 2018 for a five-year term. Even though there have been slight advances from previous elections, domestic and foreign observers have raised severe concerns and advocated for additional reforms to fulfill regional and global norms for democratic elections.

 

 

Gloria Flynt

I am a Research Content Specialist in Update.co.ke. I have been working with update.co.ke for over 6 months. Update.co.ke is a digital platform that provides news and analysis on business, economy, technology and entrepreneurship in worldwide. I love reading and writing about anything that has to do with science, technology, and developments in the digital world.

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