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SA polls expose Zimbabwe opposition

by Staff reporter
31 May 2024 at 16:19hrs | Views
South Africa's recent elections have highlighted what some perceive as the double standards of Western observers, as practices they criticized in Zimbabwe's general elections last year were deemed standard in South Africa.

During Wednesday's polls in South Africa, political parties conducted entrance and exit polls, a widely accepted practice. However, when Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party implemented similar polls during the previous year's elections, Western observers and opposition members claimed it was a rigging tactic, despite no restrictions on setting up such stations.

Zanu-PF was invited to observe the South African elections, with a team including the party's Secretary for External Relations, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, and Deputy Secretary for National Security, Tendai Chirau. Chirau noted on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle that the South African elections were orderly and exposed the Zimbabwean opposition's lack of exposure to modern campaign practices.

"Entrance and exit poll stations by different parties in SA elections. Such stations were set up in Zimbabwe in the 2023 elections by our party, and those who are not exposed to such arrangements cried. It's not our problem that they are not exposed to modern campaign trends," he wrote.

In contrast to the Zimbabwean opposition, South Africa's main opposition leader, Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), accepted the election results. "We will accept the willingness of the voice of the people of South Africa, whatever the outcome, we will not have any query because we campaigned and no one stopped us," Malema said.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, however, denounced the election results in Zimbabwe even before the election day, demonstrating political immaturity according to his critics.

South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reported that at least seven percent of polling stations opened late due to delays in the delivery of election materials. Similar delays in Zimbabwe's elections were labeled as rigging tactics by Western observers.

Additionally, long queues were seen during the South African elections, interpreted as a sign of high voter turnout. In contrast, long queues in Zimbabwe were viewed negatively by Western observers.

South African voters queued late into the night, forcing polling stations to remain open beyond the stipulated closing time, a situation that was also seen negatively in Zimbabwe's elections.

The South African elections have been seen by some as validating Zimbabwe's electoral processes and the Second Republic's democratic rule.

Source - the herald