Zimbabwe on the Path to Neoliberal Ruin

Photo Source abi.bhattachan | CC BY 2.0

With the defeat of the court challenge by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the election has cemented in place the results of last year’s coup.[1] The men who unleashed the military against the nation to install themselves in power, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Constantino Chiwenga, remain firmly ensconced in the positions they seized, as president and vice-president.

Mnangagwa, representing ZANU-PF, the party he and his fellow conspirators hijacked, polled 50.8 percent in the election, narrowly avoiding the need for a runoff against his leading opponent, MDC president Nelson Chamisa. The MDC based its court challenge on several anomalies it identified in electoral statistics. [2] However, the MDC case never had a chance once the court refused to grant authorization to practice law to its two South African lawyers who were counted on to play critical roles. The judges further undermined the case by informing the MDC lawyers that only primary evidence would suffice. Meanwhile,the court prevented the MDC from obtaining that primary evidence by rejecting the MDC’s subpoena for data stored on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission servers. [3]

In may never be publicly known with certainty whether the junta engaged in electoral fraud to secure its position or if Mnangagwa genuinely won enough votes to squeak by. Regardless, the very basis for the election was illegitimate, as Mnangagwa would never have been a candidate in…

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