The election held in Zimbabwe on 23 August 2023 was shrouded with issues that spoke against free, fair and credible elections as reported by almost all foreign observer missions to the country.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa today went on to be inaugurated for a second term as the President of Zimbabwe despite several outcry by Zimbabweans locally and abroad who perceive the electioneering process as flawed.
The generality of Zimbabweans are of the position that, Mnangagwa will use his re-election to ammend the constitution so that he will exceed the two term presidential limit.
If Mnangangwa manage to change the presidential term limit, he would have successfully returned Zimbabwe to autocratic nation from its current progressive democracy state.
Autocracy is a system of governance wereby absolute power is held by the ruler.
A leader who possesses absolute political power within a country or territory or a member of a small group that exercises such power are known as dictators.
The use of autocratic style of leadership is referred to as dictatorship.
Dictators normally resort to force or fraud to gain despotic political power, which they maintain through the use of intimidation, terror and the suppression of basic civil liberties.
The use of repressive state apparatus in the make of the army, police and the Cental Intelligence Organisations takes more precedence in autocratic states than the usage of ideological state apparatus.
This goes a long way in confirming the common adage that when the ruling class run out of ruling ideas, they resort to force.
The previous five years in Zimbabwe were characterised by intimidation of opposition political players, terror was championed through the use of terror groups such as Ferret and FAZ and suppression of basic liberties was witnessed through several contested amandements to the country’s constitution and promulgation of draconian laws.
Tyrants also employ techniques of mass propaganda in order to sustain their public support.
‘Varakashi’ were and are still all over social media using pseudo names and sometimes real ones in trying to push certain narratives against widely believed truths.
The amendment to the criminal law Codification Act Chapter 9.23 to accomodate the Patriotic Act, arrests of registered civil society organisations personnel in the midst of elections, the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) bill which was promulgated with preconceptions of deregistering certain civil societies and making it difficulty to register new CSOs are glaring indicators of tyrannical rule.
The media which is the fourth estate is gauged from doing its watchdog role as several punitive laws can be used to mantain the media on check
Forever Association of Zimbabwe (FAZ) a quasi security terror group associated with ruling political party, is notorious for its shenanigans before, during and after elections; are all but ways of intimidation which resonates well with tyrannical leadership.
Rampant corruption, election rigging, and violent crackdowns on political dissent and rival parties are some of the characteristic of an autocratic leadership.
After the announcement of election results, there is continued abduction of mostly dissent voices of opposition in the alleged hands of state agents.
Zimbabwe should brace for five more years of autocratic rule, the writing is too eligible on the wall to miss.
Mnangagwa’s heavy handedness is chronicled in several writings of how as a former minister of state security master minded ‘Gukuruhundu’ were more than 20 000 people were massacred in the early 1980s.
‘Garwe’ (crocodile ) a moniker given to Mnangagwa based on how ruthlessly he deals with perceived prey are all but characteristics of a autocratic leader.
Zimbabweans can be in for the worst five years of their lives.