Political analysts have said Zimbabweans have lost hope in local elections since the current political landscape favours the ruling ZANU PF.
In an interview with the Independent, political commentator and academic Alexander Rusero noted that elections in Zimbabwe never delivered people’s expression since 1980. He said:
You talk of ZANLA’s intimidation of the rural electorate in 1980 that anything outside a ZANU PF victory meant a return to war, the annihilation of ZAPU between 1980 and 1987, the violent decimation of ZUM in 1990, and the sham election of 1995.
From 2000 onwards, following the end of ZANU PF’s de facto status of a one-party state, elections have been further reduced into a site of struggle, an extension of war.
Zimbabweans have since retired from deriving any hope from the plebiscite because they know under the current realities of a securitised election and a militarised state, elections are merely a formality, it’s a choice-less democracy or rather voting without choosing.
He said the final nail to the feasibility of regime change ushered through an election had been delivered through the calibre of recently nominated ZEC commissioners.
Rusere said the removal of the late former president Robert Mugabe “by the bullet and not the ballot” eroded all hopes of elections as a democratic alternative to installing a government in Zimbabwe.
Political analyst Methuseli Moyo said there were too many counter accusations and allegations about electoral manipulation more than is being done to raise awareness around voter registration. He added:
The opposition is partly to blame for preaching that election results are always rigged. People, therefore, do not see the reason to register and vote. It is a self-defeating strategy for the opposition.
Another political commentator Effie Ncube said the youths, “are not registering as voters because there is nothing for them that the government has done to the extent that the executive has failed to live up to the expectations of young people.”
He said the youths are reluctant to register as voters hence the need to bring in the diaspora vote to ensure maximum participation of all potential voters.
A professor of World Politics Stephen Chan noted in an interview that Zimbabweans are disillusioned after voting since 1980 without seeing any change.
ZANU PF pledged five million votes for President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the Citizens Coalition for Change saying they would give Nelson Chamisa six million votes.
Zimbabwe has more than 7.8 million eligible voters out of a population of more than 16.3 million people, according to worldpopulationreview.com.