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Zimbabwe police tarnishing own image

10 Jul 2023 at 07:22hrs | Views
RIGGING of elections has been a major talking point  in Zimbabwe's past polls with the ruling Zanu-PF party being accused of this very undemocratic tactic to win plebiscites.

While it has been somewhat difficult to prove the rigging claims, they cannot be dismissed because as the country heads for elections on August 23, there are serious signs pointing to determined attempts to rig the polls.

A simple definition of rigging is an act of dishonestly arranging for the result of something, for example an election.

And in Zimbabwe's case, one of the most apparent attempts to dishonestly predetermine the results of the country's harmonised elections is the restrictions being placed on opposition campaign rallies, especially those of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

What is obviously most intriguing about these attempts at "rigging" is that the ruling party is not directly involved per se in the shenanigans, but there are people who are more than ready and willing to position the ruling party at an advantage against the opposition ahead of next month's polls. That these actions have the potential to influence the election results, is a valid argument.

People, who are zealously offering themselves to do the hatchet job, are some of our uniformed men and women in the police force, who apparently appear determined to block the CCC from holding campaign rallies at all cost. The police have even gone as far as reportedly imposing a dawn to dusk curfew in Bindura where CCC was scheduled to hold a rally yesterday.

While the ruling party appears to face little to no impediments to holding rallies across the length and breadth of the country, some of our police force members have taken it upon themselves to regulate the electoral playing field in a manner that glaringly favours Zanu-PF and its leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It is quite curious that Mnangagwa and the ruling party are not raising hell over the police conduct, despite the clear fact that its undemocratic conduct will bring his and the party's names into disrepute.

Mnangagwa and his party cannot honestly tell us that they are having peaceful nights when the police are suggesting that he and his party are the only ones allowed to freely go about their election campaigns, while the opposition is barred.

If Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are comfortable with the status quo and doing nothing to protect their reputations, would it be far-fetched for some of us to conclude that they are complicit in the creation of an unfair electoral playing field ahead of the August polls?

Would we be wrong to conclude that this is just one of the rigging machinations whereby the opposition is not allowed equal access to the electorate to sell its agenda?

In the event that Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF win these elections, will they honestly be proud of a victory over opponents who would have fought with their hands tied behind their backs? What legitimacy would be in their victory when they would have been protected by the police from being challenged openly? Is there any genuine victory from a situation whereby one part enjoys unfair advantage over opponents?

The police force's conduct is not only damaging to the ruling party and Mnangagwa, but it also imperils the law enforcement agents' reputation. The conduct of some of our police men and women effectively shreds the Police Charter to smithereens and tarnishes the force's otherwise very good image.

Source - newsday
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