Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Lovemore Moyo, has issued a stark warning, stating that the forthcoming harmonised elections in 2023 are likely to result in a disputed outcome, similar to the events that transpired during the 2018 elections.
In a press release issued on Monday, Moyo emphasized that the international community has grown weary of Zimbabwe’s recurring cycle of disputed elections. He articulated his concerns, stating:
“Once again, it appears that we are on the brink of experiencing a repeat of the 2018 plebiscite, which was marred by controversy and contention. This unfortunate situation seems almost inevitable.”
Moyo stressed that Zimbabweans yearn for an opportunity to exercise their democratic rights freely, devoid of fear, intimidation, harassment, and electoral manipulation. The former Speaker highlighted that prominent global entities such as the Southern African Development Community, African Union, European Union, United States, and South Africa have become fatigued with Zimbabwe’s persistent electoral mismanagement, disputes, and violence.
In a heartfelt plea, Moyo urged the Government and its associated institutions to ensure a level playing field for the upcoming elections in order to avert another disputed outcome. He remarked:
“With this in mind, we implore the government, law enforcement agencies, political parties, civil society, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, and election observer missions to adhere meticulously to the best practices and standards governing elections, without any bias or trepidation.”
Additionally, Moyo called upon the police, military, and other law enforcement bodies to uphold their solemn oath of service during the electoral period and beyond, demonstrating unwavering loyalty and dedication to their responsibilities.
Recalling the events of 2018, Moyo referenced the unsuccessful challenge mounted by the primary opposition presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, who alleged electoral misconduct by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in favor of the ruling ZANU PF party. The ZEC ultimately declared President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ZANU PF presidential candidate, as the victor—a decision upheld by the Constitutional Court.
Moreover, Moyo drew attention to the unfortunate incident that occurred on August 1st, 2018, in Harare, when security officers opened fire on protestors, resulting in the tragic loss of seven lives and numerous injuries.