AFRICANGLOBE – We continue confounding prophets of doom and detractors who expected our country to be a theatre of violence during this election period. We continue to show much of Africa and even the developed world how elections should be conducted and what a people united by a common cause can achieve even in the face of adversity.
Our elections have been peaceful, let’s ensure this continues as the results are being collated and announced. Police should clampdown on beaten candidates who may want to provoke situations to soil the process.
We have always been a peace-loving people and our elections can never be compared to some countries where ballot boxes go missing and bomb blasts are witnessed during campaigning and even at polling stations.
The voting yesterday showed that we have definitely come of age and democracy is slowly maturing with the electorate getting to appreciate that differing in ideology did not warrant violence and that only peaceful campaigning could convince a potential voter to vote for your party.
We believe the more than 11,000 observers deployed around the country for the elections have never felt safer and that they will take back useful lessons to their own countries on how to conduct elections that are peaceful, free and fair.
There were orchestrated doubts in some quarters designed to throw aspersions on the capacity of the ZEC to successfully conduct yesterday’s election, following challenges faced during the special voting for ZEC officials, civil servants and members of the security forces earlier last month.
Again much of the challenges were contrived and compounded by the incompatibility of the special voting system to our First Past The Post electoral system.
There have been attempts to discredit the whole electoral process due to the false start of the special voting but yesterday’s smooth voting shamed detractors and all the presidential candidates expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the elections.
Granted, all the political players got the voters’ roll just two days before the elections but it should be noted that this affected all the contestants and hence could not have given any party an edge over others.
There are lessons that we should draw from the electoral process and one major lesson is that of encouraging our people to register as voters since voter registration is a continuous process.
In the same way that our people apply for identification cards, we should encourage them to register as voters when they turn 18 so that when the accelerated voter registration starts most people would just be inspecting the voters’ roll with only those that would have just turned 18 years registering as voters.
We say this because there has been so much talk about the voters’ roll though it is the people that vote rather than the voters’ register. We would like to urge political party leaders to learn from the voters from the different parties that stood patiently in line together without any incident yesterday through accepting the outcome of the elections instead of seeking to subvert the will of the people.
The peace that the country has enjoyed in the run-up to the elections was largely a result of the political leaders speaking one language of peace in the run-up to the elections.
Also, our people have seen the leaders of the different parties working together in Government for the past five years, showing the way in that their followers could differ but still co-exist.
Those that try to incite people to disturb the peace in the country should be arrested since they have the courts to take up their cases, if they have any issues worth pursuing legally.
As the results start coming in, we urge supporters of the different parties to avoid provocation but celebrate their victories in an acceptable manner so that we continue being the shining example that we have been so far in these elections.
Congratulations Zimbabwe on a peaceful election, congratulations Africa on yet another feather in your electoral democracy cap!