By Sij Ncube
HARARE, June 11, 2015 – Morgan Tsvangirai’s formation of the MDC says the low turn-out and poor figures in Wednesday’s “sham” by-elections confirms its demands for the implementation of far-reaching electoral reforms, describing the polls as a charade.
Zanu (PF) won all the 16 by-elections held on Wednesday but the polls were largely characterised by poor voter turn-out, a development the MDC T said on Thursday showed that citizens heeded the party’s call to snub the elections.
In a statement the MDC-T claimed the by-elections have largely vindicated its position, saying the polls were fraught with the massive irregularities such as vote-buying, abuse of traditional leaders and disenfranchisements as some voters found their names not on the voters roll.
“This is a pyrrhic victory for the Zanu (PF) regime. It is, indeed, a hollow and meaningless ‘’victory.’’
The average vote of about 2 500 for the “winners” in a constituency with 40 000 registered voters confirm that this is a victory of the minority. The majority who stayed away actually won these by-elections while the losers who participated in paltry numbers will be announced the winners.
It is a landslide of the majority,” it said, adding that even in Tsholotsho where two Vice Presidents competed to “buy votes” by dishing out money and rice, the 11 000 votes recorded, are still a far much cry from the over 40 000 registered voters in this sparsely populated constituency.
The pointed out that from Luveve in Bulawayo to Dzivarasekwa in Harare, the story was the same as Zimbabweans stayed away from the polls.
“No amount of political grandstanding by the faction – ridden and disintegrating Zanu PF regime can sanitise the electoral farce that took place on June 10, 2015,” adding that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ZEC should up its game and ensure truly credible polls.
“To SADC, the message coming from these polls is that the crisis of legitimacy is at the core of the country’s crisis. When you have the minority claiming victory against a background of such a shameful turnout and such paltry figures by the so-called winners, it confirms that something is very wrong in the country.
In short, the results of these by-elections are a disgrace. SADC and the rest of Africa cannot just watch when we are running charades disguised as elections. “