The victory gives ZANU-PF more than a two-thirds majority and many options of tossing out sections of the new constitution urged on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by its Euro-American backers.
The election was affirmed by observers of the African Union (AU) and 600 of Southern African Development Commission (SADC) to have been peaceful and reflective of wishes of Zimbabwe’s voters. Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo led the AU team and noted that mistakes were made “but all in all we do not believe that these incidents will amount to the results not reflecting the will of the people”.
Coming out of an economic war waged against it by the European Union and the United States, Mugabe’s government prohibited their election observers from entering the country. In the run-up to the election western media and governments showed much hostility to Mugabe and ZANU-PF; and were obsessive about Mugabe not surviving physical demands of election campaigns.A total of 3,500 NGOs were said to have been funded by external sponsors with $2.6 billion for the goal of effecting “regime change”. Mugabe victory calls for an end to this phobia.
The Foreign Minister of Tanzania, as a member of the SADC observer team, made a most pertinent statement, namely: “In a democracy we not only vote, not only campaign, but accept the hard facts, particularly the outcome”. Its timeliness was shown by calls by some of MDC’s leadership for “mass protests” and a campaign of “passive resistance”. A member of the 3,000-strong observers from the Catholic Church suggested a “resort to violence” by people who “feel their choice was not accepted”. In this regard, Tsvangirai’s early preference for going to court must be commended. The record of horrendous violence after the 2007 elections in Kenya; and deaths, arson and destruction of property following the 2011 elections in Nigeria are lessons that must be learnt. Zimbabwe has its own record of violence, instability and flight of hundreds of thousands of citizens into neighbouring countries, mainly South Africa and Botswana. Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States pushing for violence are against Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.
Mugabe’s and Zanu-PF’s unprecedented victories after scrambling to hold on to power in 2008 must be due to the popular appeal of the land reforms they achieved and the new policy of getting village communities and employees in companies to own shares in corporations mining minerals and conducting businesses which have a minimum of one million dollars as capital. Funds earned from shares are owned by villagers collectively and are already being used to build health clinics, schools, roads and other projects chosen by communities and built by them. Since 1890, ownership of shares was a monopoly of whites and absentee elites. These are vital lessons for Africa.
On the land issue ZANU-PF gave land to 276,000 small-scale farmers. Top politicians and civil servants were allocated only 10 per cent of the land. Small-scale farmers are now selling surpluses to urban markets. The indigenisation policy has met resistance from banks with long colonial records. Many hoped that Tsvangirai would win. There is, however, evidence that Prime Minister Cameron and President Obamahad received timely intelligence that Mugabe and ZANU-PF were headed for clear victory; and called for reconciliation.This is a welcome development. They should urge investors including land-owners and mine-owners in South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia who detest access to land by landless citizens of these countries to reconsider their policy. Mugabe’s massive popularity among the masses of people in these countries should urge change of mind. It is time they see ending poverty as creating future markets across this vast region.Africa should push for an end to racist phobia against Mugabe.