Gremlins disturbing peace


AN outstanding feature associated with the just-ended harmonised general elections is the calm and peace that has prevailed across the country, despite attempts by some gremlins to be non-compliant.
However, we expect the peace and tranquility that we have experienced before and during the plebiscite to continue during the post-election period.
The opening up of the democratic space was self-evident, as political parties had unprecedented freedoms of expression, movement and assembly, among others, during the election campaign period.
And this peace could be seen as a natural sequel to the harmony and tranquility that was ushered in by ‘Operation Restore Legacy’ on November 18 2017.
On that day, thousands silenced the world when they demonstrated peacefully, demanding the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe.
The love for peace was so overwhelming that it was not difficult to persuade political parties contesting the harmonised elections to commit themselves to a Peace Pledge.
Opposition parties, in particular the MDC Alliance, were able to cover every corner of the country in their campaigns undisturbed to the extend that they were even allowed to stage demonstrations against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Because of the pervading peace, the protests just fizzled out without violence.
Naturally, there were a few skirmishes in the form of intra-party and inter-party violence.
But these were not on a big enough scale to disturb the peace the polity was enjoying.
The huge turnout on polling day, which was reported to average 75 percent was further evidence of how Zimbabweans were enjoying this new found peace.
Zimbabwe was so proud of the situation in the country that it felt it had nothing to hide as it invited observers, both individuals and groups to observe its harmonised elections.
With the country now an oasis of peace, credible elections were a given.
Regrettably, there are some gremlins, ironically of Zimbabwean origin, determined to soil the good image peace-loving Zimbabweans had created for themselves.
As it became apparent that the MDC Alliance might lose the impending elections, inflammatory statements from the party’s hierarchy became regular.
It looks like there was a deliberate campaign by the Alliance’s top brass to psyche their supporters to reject the result of the elections.
Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti were very outright in their open defiance of the electoral laws.
They assured their supporters that their announcement of election results superseded that of ZEC, a body constituted to do that.
Things came to a head on Wednesday when MDC supporters, responding to illegal claims by their leaders that Chamisa had been robbed of victory, invaded Harare with the intention of causing havoc.
These are early days.
Final results of both parliamentary and presidential elections are still to be announced by ZEC.
All participants in the just-ended elections know the legal channel to follow if dissatisfied.
It is prudent for the MDC Alliance to accept that the recognised route to power in a democratic polity is through elections.
The electorate has the ultimate right to decide in the polling booth and definitely not on the streets.
We have complete faith in the capability of our law enforcement agents.


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