Why Get Emotionally Violent Over Election Results?

by Gift Mashoko

Elections are a democratic process in which citizens aged 18 and above elect candidates of their choice to represent them and their interests locally, nationally or internationally.

In this process, there are bound to be winners and losers just like in any other competition and all parties should accept whatever result and if they disagree they opposition should be confined within the constitutional framework.

The harmonised elections especially the presidential result of the just ended on 30 July 2018 have seen the opposition who are refusing defeat raise so much unnecessary dust.

For those not satisfied with the results their litigation should be done in a peaceful manner and let the courts decide but at the same avoid inciting their supporters to violence like what happened on the 1st of August where six lives were lost during violent demonstrations

MDC Alliance demonstrators took to the streets vandalising and looting shops, tearing and taking down banners and setting private vehicles on fires. This caused disruptions and panic in citizens who were minding their own business and had nothing to do with these demos.

Prior to the violence that erupted and only a day after the voting day, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa had tweeted to say they had won resoundingly and would not accept any other result other than their win notwithstanding that the electoral body was still counting the votes. Following the violence that erupted Nelson Chamisa deleted this tweet but the harm had already been done.

MDC Alliance principal, Tendai Biti claimed that the MDC Alliance had collated the election results and that the results were showing that the MDC Alliance had won the harmonised elections. When ZEC announced ZANU PF’s landslide victory Biti announced that as a party they were going to fight this and that they were not going to accept the results.

Prior to this, Biti had said they were going to make this country ungovernable if they were to lose the election. He went on to say that people were on the streets and already making the country ungovernable. What kind of leadership is this? “The fight is just beginning. It will get worse,” Biti said. This loaded statement encouraged people to go into the streets to fight for the purported “rigged” election results. However, this was put to an end by the soldiers who went to the streets to control MDC Alliance supporters’ rogue and rowdy behaviour.

MDC Alliance supporters and leaders should look at how other political parties that lost are behaving. The MDC Alliance should act maturely and learn to accept the outcome. No amount of noise is going to change the ZANU PF victory anywhere.

Maybe, Chamisa needs to listen to the counsel of another rational opposition figure Julius Malema who said “In the absence of evidence, any rhetoric that suggests there was rigging is actually putting the lives of Zimbabweans in danger.”

Zimbabwe is bigger than defeated politicians’ bruised ego. We need to move on and re-build our beautiful motherland.