By Crimson Tazvinzwa
Shooting unarmed civilians cast a shadow on an otherwise peaceful and successful poll – Peter Pham
Zimbabwe’s recent poll has been touted as peaceful and successful despite the shooting of unarmed civilians which left six dead and millions of dollars worth in property destroyed.
The Director of Africa Centre for The Atlantic Council, Mr. Peter Pham says Zimbabwe’s recently held harmonised elections were largely peaceful despite the violence that ensued – casting a shadow on an otherwise the best election the country has had in 20-years.
“Certainly it was not a level playing field by any stretch of the imagination. Media coverage was almost exclusively given to the incumbent President, very little to the challengers.
“There are also questions about the voter’s rolls being manipulated, ghost voters being there – these are some of the various questions that need to be answered.”
Pham says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission didn’t ‘cover itself in glory either – with its delays in publishing the result which subsequently heightened suspicion and tensions.’
“On the other hand, the opposition didn’t help themselves either. They were divided. In some places they even ran two candidates against each other; and in cities they should have won like Bulawayo,” Pham observed.
Pham castigated Mr. Nelson Chamisa of the MDC-T for making victory claims ahead of official announcement; which he says created heightened tensions.
READ MORE: MDC-T offices in Bulawayo closed by police
He also says Zimbabwe needs to learn the lessons and move on noting that the incumbent, Mr. Mnangagwa will need to display statesmanship behaviour to claim legitimacy; adding, otherwise there are dark days ahead.