I WRITE to you today with a heavy heart and a deep sense of concern regarding the recent Zimbabwe elections held on August 23-24, 2023.
As a proud Zimbabwean, I feel compelled to express my dismay at the state of our electoral process and the alarmingly low expectations we have set for ourselves as a nation.
It is with great embarrassment that we find ourselves celebrating the absence of violence as the primary measure of a free and fair election.
Are we truly content with defining the credibility of our democratic process solely on the premise that we refrained from brutalising and killing one another?
Such a mindset is not only disheartening, but also an insult to the principles of democracy that we should hold dear.
While the ruling Zanu PF party may argue that the elections were free and fair due to lack of widespread violence, we must not allow ourselves to be deceived by this façade.
The numerous irregularities that plagued the elections cannot be ignored.
The banning of opposition rallies, the exclusion of opposition voices from national television, and the manipulative tactics employed by fringe groups like Forever Associates Zimbabwe are blatant examples of the erosion of our democracy.
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Furthermore, the deliberate hindrance of the opposition’s ability to participate fully in the electoral process, including the delay in delivering voting materials to their strongholds, are grave injustices.
By forcing citizens to vote in darkness and disenfranchising them, we undermine the very essence of democracy and disregard the fundamental rights of fellow Zimbabweans.
We must not allow the absence of violence to blind us to the truth.
Our elections have become nothing more than a farcical display, designed to deceive the international community while leaving us, the citizens, disillusioned and disheartened.
It is high time we demanded true accountability and transparency in our electoral processes.
As Zimbabweans, we must rise above the complacency that has engulfed us.
We must unite in our demand for meaningful reforms that address the systemic issues plaguing our electoral system.
This includes dismantling barriers to political participation, ensuring equal access to media for all parties, and establishing a genuinely transparent and inclusive electoral process.
It is imperative that we reclaim our dignity as a nation and restore the faith of our fellow citizens in the democratic ideals we hold dear.
We cannot allow ourselves to be content with this illusion of democracy.
We must strive for real change, for the sake of present and future generations.
I implore you, esteemed editor, to use the power of your platform to shed light on the plight of our electoral process.
Let us foster public dialogue and encourage a collective commitment to a genuine democratic progress.
Together, we can bring about the change that Zimbabwe so desperately needs. - Concerned citizen