‘Zimbabwe’s political landscape tilted in Zanu-PF’s favour’

The constant subjugation of the opposition parties by Zanu-PF over the years has created an uneven political ground in the country, Dr Ibbo Mandaza has stated. 

The publisher and political analyst was speaking on This Morning on Asakhe a CITE Twitter Spaces programme, Tuesday. 

Dr Mandaza said since 1980, under the leadership of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the same used to happen and most of the elections that followed thereafter were marred with violence. 

“1980 was the first time for us to vote notwithstanding the security situation during the ceasefire. I came back around that time. Subsequent elections were marred by violence. I985, the one party-state spectre was all over the place. ZAPU was under siege, infact I would say that from independence, the tendency of the Zanu-PF state was to regard every opposition as enemy-whether it was ZAPU under Joshua Nkomo, ZUM under Edgar Tekere, MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai,” he said. 

“The tendency of the Zanu-PF state was to regard every opposition as enemy. This has been done to other opposition parties. Now the tendency has been unfortunately one of regarding the opposition s enemy to be vanquished, not to be tolerated at all. I would say that most elections have been marked by that type of siege mentality where there is the ruling party, the state sought to vanquish the opposition.” 

Dr Mandaza said similar tendencies are being witnessed of late as rallies are being banned and opposition parties are not being given enough publicity on state media platforms.   

“If you are to look at 2023, the opposition, the rallies are being banned and there is hardly any mention of them in the state media, there is generally a kind of bare tolerance especially now that observers have arrived there is a tendency to try and create an even playfield,” he said. 

Dr Mandaza described such conduct of the ruling party as a sign of desperation and fear to lose the election. 

“This election has been the most desperate on the part of the ruling party, especially it’s presidential candidate. The manner in which money has been thrown around since December, the extent to which freebies are being distributed at rallies, I have never seen such desperation from a presidential candidate like I have seen now,” he said. 

“I think in the past Mugabe knew that his boys and girls were at work in rigging as he did but I think this time around Mnangagwa is not sure his boys and girls are in one mind so that has added to the desperation.”

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