Zanu PF’s hollow victory

ZANU PF will be basking in glory this week after its candidates won convincingly in two by-elections that were boycotted by the main opposition parties on Friday.

mnangagwaThe party managed to retain its seats in Mt Darwin, formerly held by ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, that was captured by new VP Emmerson Mnangagwa.

History has taught us that Zanu PF usually goes into elections to win at whatever cost even if it means having people die.

Therefore, the decision by the MDC formations to boycott the by-elections was a gift received with both hands by Zanu PF eager to prove that the divisions rocking the party would not harm its electoral chances.

Clearly the party would not be concerned that Auxilia Mnangagwa in Chirumanzu- Zibagwe and Barnwell Seremwe in Mt Darwin West got their seats on a silver platter.

Instead, the party sees the Friday victory as a precursor to June 10 where another set of 14 parliamentary seats would be up for grabs.

Zanu PF will once again go into the ring against political lightweights such as the National Constitutional Assembly led by Lovemore Madhuku.

There is nothing to suggest that the government would have acceded to electoral reforms as demanded by the MDC formations.

However, Zanu PF has to tamper its celebrations with caution because winning an election is one thing and garnering legitimacy is
another.

Zanu PF is already suffering from a legitimacy crisis following the conduct of the July 31 2013 polls, only endorsed by African observer teams.

African teams that endorsed the elections still had questions about the conduct of the polls and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has not been able to address them up to now.

Zanu PF may think addressing shortcomings of the electoral system is not in its best interest, but in the long run the government will suffer a legitimacy crisis.

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