Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: Zimbabwe’s legendary company in battle for top spot in sham polls league
Across the continents over the years, the world has seen countless shambolic elections. But Zimbabwe appears to be leaving her own indelible footprints amid the crooked company of “legends” in the elite league of manipulating the vote and subverting the people’s will.
While the world has seen disputed elections from purported paragons of democracy such as the United States of America to developing countries in Africa and Asia, it is the magnitude of the heist and the brazen manner in which it has been done in Harare that has left the entire planet Earth bamboozled.
There is a deafening loud silence among the SADC leaders that one could hear the sound of a dropping pin, but many remain hopeful that the regional heads of State will not act at variance with the observation of their own observer mission that was on the ground in Zimbabwe and saw for themselves the pilferage of the people’s will.
This week, I look at one of the most rigged elections according to the Guinness book of records, a legendary status that Zimbabwe appears to be angling for not only by dint of the frequency and astounding number of her disputed polls but also the laughable and tragic antics employed in the recent plebiscite to steal the will of the people.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the most rigged election in history was the 1927 poll in Liberia. In that poll, the then sitting leader Charles King of the True Whig party contested against Thomas Faulkner of the People’s Party.
In the proclaimed results after that world’s most fraudulent poll, King reportedly polled 240 000 votes (other sources put the figure at 243 000), against Faulkner’s 9 000 or so votes.
What shocked the world was that even though the electoral authorities put King’s figure at 240 000, the total voting population in Liberia at the time was just about 15 000. They had inflated King’s figure 15 times above the number of the country’s eligible voters.
Similarly, we recently saw the figures from our own Electoral Commission adding up to an astounding cumulative total of 103 percent.
The figures, announced nocturnally in a six-minute anti-climax at midnight on Saturday 26 August, significantly and literally showcased that it had all been a dark and murky plebiscite.
ZEC quickly removed the unmatching numbers from its website and to date have refused to publish the broken down polling station figures, though it remains in the public interest and in the interest of transparency and accountability for them to do so.
At least Liberia’s legendary election, held almost a century ago, was administered by that country’s election management body. Yet in our case, in this brave 21st century, the electoral management body deliberately and connivingly stepped aside to allow a spooky organisation called FAZ, run by the deputy director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation Walter Tapfumaneyi, to run (or is it steal?) the show.
All the legitimate fuss about FAZ makes the whole election and its outcome fuzzy, to say the least.
A total sham.
So while Liberia broke new ground by giving Africa its first female President in the name of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, it equally retains legendary status as having run the biggest electoral fraud in the history of stolen elections.
Yet Zimbabwe has worked hard to join this infamous and kantankerous league as the regime angles to claim top spot and prise the prize away from Liberia.
In 2918, they could not even tell us in specific terms the figure that Mr Mnangagwa had polled. To date no one can tell to the specific number how many votes ED polled in the 2018 election. And in that poll, ZEC three times revised downwards Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa’s proclaimed figures after his so called victory had been challenged in court.
This time, the sham was preceded by shocking events. Jameson Mushove died in the voting queue in Warren Park Harare as he waited more than 12 hours to cast his vote while the CCC’s Tinashe Chitsunge was callously killed by ZANU PF thugs in Glen View, Harare for attending his part’s sanctioned rally. Ballot papers were delivered a day later in the opposition strongholds in Harare and Bulawayo while over 100 of the opposition’s campaign rallies were banned by the police, among the many shenanigans employed to subvert the will of the people.
But perhaps the first rigging of the 2023 so-called poll was done on the ballot paper itself where Mr Mnangagwa’s name was curiously placed on top in a contrived second column specifically created to make his name more prominent. But even that cheap antic failed to place him on top of the voters’ hearts. Yes, he tampered with the alphabet in a vain attempt to give himself a contrived headstart which ironically became a tail-end .
At least Liberia’s electoral commission ran the election in 1927. In our case, it was run by a spooky organisation.
That is why to this day, ZEC cannot publicly produce their cumulative numbers by polling station to tell us how Mnangagwa got his so-called figure that they announced in the witchly and ungodly midnight hour of Saturday the 26th of August 2023.
To date, they can’t produce the V11s and publicly lay them out to the citizens because they don’t have them. They are with FAX. It was FAZ and not ZEC that administered the charade and ZEC was simply the spokes-institution of a charade they voluntarily stepped aside for FAZ to run.
A real fuss, far much worse than Liberia’s 1927 circus.
Thanks to Mnangagwa ‘s scarfed shenanigans, Zimbabwe has joined the elite club of electoral pickpockets, the world’s famed stoic and indefatigable undertakers of the people’s will!
It’s a shameful reputation.
But then Mbavha for ED are so daring they will steal anything, including the people’s sovereign will. Only this time we and SADC will not allow them to get away with it!
Luke Tamborinyoka is a citizen from Domboshava. He is a change champion in the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa. You can interact with him on his Facebook page or via the _X handle @ luke_tambo.