Mugabe can’t be both player and referee

The late founding President, Robert Mugabe shakes hands with late former Prime Minister and MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai after assenting the new Constitution at State House in 2013

YESTERDAY, we carried a report in which Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe declared that non-State actors funded by the West were not welcome to observe the 2018 harmonised elections.

We have no doubt that due to Mugabe’s eagerness to retain the throne, he is more likely to rig the 2018 election, something which will further isolate Zimbabwe from the rest of the world.

The fact that Mugabe would choose to attack non-governmental organisations (NGOs) monitoring the elections, accusing them of interfering in Kenya’s disputed elections, speaks volumes of the man he has become.

There is no doubt that he is plotting to upstage the do-or-die 2018 plebiscite in the country by using unorthodox means, yet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is, according to the Constitution, supposed to be independent.

Could this be the reason why he has continued to interfere in the electoral processes to this day? Why is Mugabe so miffed with the NGOs monitoring the sham Kenyan election in which a sitting President Uhuru Kenyatta won 98% in a one-man race?

Indeed, the sham Kenyatta re-election is a carbon copy of what the soon-to-be 94-year-old Mugabe did in the July 2008 presidential run-off election. Mugabe was even ashamed of his re-election such that he was sworn in during the night. What a sad day for democracy it was.

Zimbabweans do not need a repeat of that sad episode next year, and Mugabe should spare us the nonsense. We have no doubt that his greediness will cost him. What is the purpose of Mugabe’s input in the Kenyan poll, except that he is an interested party in the coming election?

He must be warned that as a sitting President, he should keep off from electoral affairs as there is an independent Zec for the job.

We condemn Mugabe’s decision to assume the role of referee, linesman and match commissioner, as this will likely affect the credibility of the upcoming elections.

We are aware of the challenges bedevilling election preparations, vis-à-vis the first phase of the biometric voter registration exercise raised a stink in terms of transmission and storage of data from the various registration centres to the district, provincial and national data centres, which still needs to be explained.

There is clearly need for Zec explain these issues to enable electoral stakeholders to have a better understanding of how registration data will be moved to the national data centre.

It must be borne in Mugabe’s mind that in the spirit of transparency and open data, the Zec procedures on the transmission and storage of data must be clearly communicated and publicised to all electoral stakeholders and the general public.


  1. 39% of Kenyans actually voted meaning the majority did not vote so Kenyattta is not a democratically elected president of Kenya by virtue of the number of people who voted, not what he got 98% of 39% cannot be a victory. Those leaders of Africa who have been voted in by democratic elections must refuse to sit in the same AU with these demagogues. In fact it is better to dismantle AU as it has failed as a body to superintend African affairs.

  2. Its all signs that the 2018 election is a done deal in words and deeds. From the controversial residential registration requirement to President Mugabe’s outrageous remark on Western observers, its obvious that we are going for a compromised election.

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