(Last Updated on October 21, 2021 by zimdaily)
HARARE – The current electoral environment ahead of the 2023 elections has already been “rigged” in favour of ruling Zanu PF, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has said. He was speaking at Transparency International Zimbabwe’s (TIZ) Anti-Corruption Dialogue on Electoral Integrity in Harare, Monday.
“Unfortunately, when you look at what is happening now, for instance, the tour by MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa in Masvingo (and Manicaland provinces), there are tell-tale signs that we are going to get into a very difficult election in 2023,” said Goredema.
“It is not going to be like 2018, that is our prediction. Basing on what we are beginning to witness, we are obviously going to have a very closed campaign environment, that is very clear.
“If you look at what is happening with the use of Covid-19 regulations and how they are being misused to make sure only one political party connects with its own people you will notice this is what matters when we talk about 2023 preparations.”
He added; “You can clearly see that the space for the opposition to be able to connect with their own base is already being shut using Covid-19 regulations where you see Zanu PF is the only party allowed to hold meetings and rallies, we saw many videos of legislators meeting huge crowds at a time when people were being restricted to 50 persons at a gathering yet they were in the hundreds.
“We are having a pre-election environment that is rigged in favour of the incumbent (President Emmerson Mnangagwa).
“Unfortunately, we cannot celebrate things that happened in 2018 because clearly there are signs of reversal, there are very clear signs that we are regressing, going back to environments we used to have.”
Goredema also noted the government’s attempt to close civic society’s space as another example Zimbabwe was fast going back to pre-2018 conditions.