Institute For Security Studies Africa Warns That Zimbabwe Faces Disputed Elections
The Institute for Security Studies Africa has warned that Zimbabwe is heading for another round of disputed elections. The think tank says the current electoral regulatory framework is deemed inadequate and does not conform to regional guidelines.
The elections, scheduled for next month, will elect members of the national assembly, council, and the President.
In a statement, ISS said current conditions in Zimbabwe paint a gloomy picture as far as the electoral playing field, predicting a repeat of 2018. Reads the statement:
Zimbabwe is on course for another contested election. Current conditions don’t conform with the Southern African Development Community’s election guidelines, nor do they provide an even electoral playing field. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has perfected the use of non-violent coercion to intimidate people into acquiescence.
Over the past five years, the democratic space has narrowed as the law has been weaponized, opposition members and activists prosecuted, and COVID-19 regulations used to shut down civic and political activism.
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The ISS also points out the barring of opposition rallies by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the imprisonment of opposition figures. The outgoing Zengeza West legislator of the CCC, Job Sikhala, has been in prison for over a year on pre-trial detention, having been denied bail on several occasions.
The think tank further adds that the participation of former ZANU-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere may further complicate the situation, potentially leading to a run-off and violence similar to that which occurred in 2008. The ISS warns that there is no clear conclusion for Zimbabwe in sight.