When is an election not an election? The answer, as far as the imperialists are concerned, is whenever the result goes against them.
This week Robert Mugabe won the Zimbabwean presidential race for the fifth time on the run while his Zanu-PF party trounced the opposition in the race for seats in the National Assembly.
Mugabe has long been a thorn in the flesh of the Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialists who saw their plans to control the Zimbabwean economy time and time again frustrated by the veteran African leader. Mugabe’s land-reforms and general anti-imperialist stance led them to put all their money and political and economic muscle behind Tsvangirai’s movement whose high vote in the 2008 parliamentary election led to the formation of a coalition with Zanu-PF the following year.
But Tsvangirai’s dismal performance as premier along with the autocratic handling of his own front and the damaging splits that followed caused a massive slump in support for the opposition and this was clearly demonstrated in the vote this time round.
President Mugabe won the presidential race with over 61 per cent, while Movement for Democratic Change —Tsvangirai (MDC-T) leader Morgan Tsvangirai managed about 34 per cent; breakaway MDC frontman Professor Welshman Ncube came a distant third with almost three per cent and two also-rans got less than one per cent between them. Zanu-PF exceeded the majority threshold of 140 by bagging 160 seats in a 210 National Assembly contest, with MDC-T managing a paltry 49 seats.
Though the results have been endorsed as free and fair by election observers from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community Tsvangirai is again claiming electoral fraud. This is a subject that the soon-to-be former premier may be well acquainted with given the accusations from his own ranks of rigging his own primaries and his own party congress. This, they say, is the only way Tsvangirai knows to win elections and so he naturally assumes that when others win, the votes must have been rigged.
But many observers, including the paid pundits often described as “Africa experts” in the bourgeois media, believe Tsvangirai’s political career is now over.
Though Tsvangirai is no longer of any further use the imperialists are now clearly looking for another willing tool to represent the interests of the “commercial farmers” who are demanding vast sums in compensation for their lost estates, and the “agro-imperialist” western farm investors, who want to once-again exploit the fertile lands of Zimbabwe.
That’s why we’re hearing a renewed imperialist mantra of “ballot rigging” and “electoral fraud” from Washington, London and the chancelleries of the European Union in a concerted effort to undermine the legitimacy of the Zimbabwean elections and justify the continuing targeted economic sanctions against Robert Mugabe and some of his closest supporters.
Well let them bleat. Mugabe and Zanu-PF won the elections fair and square. The Zimbabwean people must be allowed to live their lives under their chosen leadership and along their chosen economic path of independence and social progress.