Voter buying is not a new phenomenon, stands, food, farming implements and other goodies are now know to be used as a carrot and stick measure towards every election.
This year’s harmonized elections with the presidential election, the most exciting in living memory, promises an upheaval. ZANU-PF which has held power since independence could be eliminated in the first round of a presidential ballot.
Afraid of VP Mnangagwa’s rising popularity, Mugabe fired the former as Vice President in early November 2016. This led to dramatic events of 13-24 November 2017 that saw Mugabe resigning.
As tyrants come up against the presidential term-limits included in many multi-party constitutions, a significant number are refusing to relinquish power. Instead, a good number of leaders have sought to secure a third term.
2017 has already seen Zimbabwe’s social movements scaling down efforts to encourage government to act on high unemployment, rampant corruption and upholding with basic human rights due to threats of reprisals.
The widening age gap between African leaders and their populations is a cause for concern. For instance, in 2016, the average median age of the African population was 20, while the average age for Heads of State was 66.
A National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. For a long time, this is what the people of Zimbabwe have been clamoring for in the hope that a convergence would provide the much-needed fillip for forgiveness and healing.
Lesotho’s snap general elections were historic in that more voters turned out that any previous election. However, the race to form a new government is obviously pitting once allies against each other.
Holding highly contestable and controversial elections in which the result has almost invariably been challenged and contested has created conflicts and undermined development in Zimbabwe.
The implications of the Lesotho snap general election are hard to exaggerate. They are the clearest example of the need for the regional body SADC to act to fix the political impasse.