By Simplicius Chirinda
Harare, August 4, 2013 – Zimbabweans have given a muted response to the announcement of the July 31 election results.
Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe won the vote with 61 percent to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 percent.
Radio VOP spoke to many people in the streets of Harare, many of whom expressed their surprise at the election results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“I have nothing to say but God knows the truth. I come from Masvingo and I won’t believe that the MDC has no support in that province,” said Wellington Mutasa, who travelled to his Chenhuwe rural home to cast his vote on election day.
“We were expecting that this election would change things in this country but it’s not going to be the case and that means we shall continue to suffer.”
Under normal circumstances the announcement of election results usually elicit wild celebrations on the side of the victors but there were no visible celebrations even in areas where Zanu PF won.
In Warren Park, a female vegetable vendor who plies her trade at Warren Park 1 Shopping Centre said she could hear people speaking in the queue on voting day saying they were going to vote for the MDC and on that basis she thinks the election was a fraud.
“I think the election was stolen, we are hearing that the ballot papers were already marked with machines and I think that could be true, how can the MDC lose considering its massive support,” she said adding that she attended the MDC final election rally dubbed “Crossover” and with the amount of people that she so there was no way the party could have lost.
Several other people whom Radio VOP approached for reactions refused to speak saying they were afraid of expressing their mind because they will be victimised.
But one woman who sells second hand clothing in Warren Park shouted from a distance saying.
“The outcome of the election pains me because it means more prostitutes and thieves in our houses because where are these children going to get employment, we are going back to 2008,” she shouted.
“The honest truth is that all these people cannot speak their mind because they are afraid but what I am telling you is exactly what they are feeling.”
There was however a lone voice at the centre, an elderly man who told us that the election results were a sign that Zimbabweans don’t want to be recolonised.
The elderly Lovemore Mazhiri said, “The result is a defeat to the British, we don’t want to be colonised.”
But as he was speaking, some people who had gathered to listen to him started drifting away, registering their disagreement to his views. Others even shouted obscenities at him. As Radio VOP left the place Mazhiri even asked for a dollar to buy a loaf of bread.
When the election results were announced on Saturday evening, the streets were largely empty.
Police officers immediately set up roadblocks where some military police were also stationed in anticipation of some crowd trouble. On Sunday groups of police officers could be seen roaming the
streets of Harare’s high density suburbs on foot patrol monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, there were rumours that the South African and Botswana government were planning to reintroduce tighter border controls. Many Zimbabweans have in the past sought refuge in the two countries as the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe bite.
The social network sites were abuzz with the same rumours. If the two countries, particularly South Africa which has already send a congratulatory message to President Robert Mugabe despite electoral
concerns raised by the MDC-T were to re-introduce the measures, it will mean time tough times ahead for the many Zimbabweans who now rely on cross border trading for a living.