By Daniel Chigundu
Sapes Trust director Ibbo Mandaza says Zanu PF will not win the impending 2018 general elections because it is fractured and has lost its mass-base.
According to Mandaza, the ruling party lost its mass-base around 1996 which resulted in former President Robert Mugabe failing to fill up stadiums and had to use force to draw huge crowds.
Addressing a symposium on peace and 2018 harmonised elections organised by the Election Resource Centre, Mandaza said Zanu PF has not done anything to regain its lost mass-base.
“I would say that from 1996 onwards Mugabe was not able to fill up a single stadium in the country and mobilisation became regimentation to a point where the population feared elections because they knew that election time was hell.
“It is no secret unless there are those from the Zimbabwe Election Commission who want to contradict me but elections in 2013 were rigged outright. And some of us stood up and said so. It was impossible for Mugabe to have received 2.2 million votes; clearly, Mugabe has not won an election since 2000.
“The party of the liberation lost its masses in the 1990s and has never been able to recover it and will not recover it, it’s a fair conclusion to make that the party of the liberation which is tattered, broken and fractured cannot possibly win elections in 2018 it’s impossible,” he said.
Mandaza added that there is nothing on the ground to show that there is going to be free, fair and credible elections in the country adding that the freedom currently being enjoyed by the opposition is a result of the state’s inability to control events.
“The question here is how to make sure in 2018 the elections will be free fair and credible, what has been done so far to ensure that, I think for those of us who have been observing the terrain there is no comfort at all that these elections will be free, fair and credible,” he said.
The Sapes Trust boss added that the 2018 elections are taking place against a background of a coup which represents a disintegration of both Zanu PF and the State.
“Historically the coup represents ironically a state in the disintegration of the Zanu PF party and the state, not restoration as is being said, it’s actually disintegration and therefore there current freedom that you are experiencing in rural areas to the extent which the opposition has been able to have rallies in areas they have never been able to before is not through the benevolence of this disintegrating State.
“It’s because the state has disintegrated they are no longer able to control it or control events let’s be very clear about that because I read something it was Charamba (George) saying we are allowing the opposition to have rallies in rural areas it’s not true.
“The State is divided army versus police, army versus CIO, which might bode well for the elections that there will be more freedom of movement, freedom to campaign but it also means the State, desperate as they are becoming can react and react violently,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mandaza has said while the government has promised to hold free, fair and credible elections there was also need to consider action to take should they fail to uphold their promise.
“so we need to consider very carefully what if the elections turn out not be free, fair and credible, what are we going to do this is the question that we should consider as citizens, as the region which turned a blind eye to the coup and the global community especially the British who have refused to call this coup a coup are you going to allow our country to descend into anarchy,” he said.
By Daniel Chigundu