Zimbabwe’s General Elections: Here are 5 Useful Facts You Might Need to Know

Election is a process carried out by democracy states to elect a leader for their country. Zimbabwe is one of them. Zimbabwe held the first general elections in February 1980 in Southern Rhodesia after they were internationally recognized independent in accordance with the conclusions of the Lancaster House Agreement. Robert Mugabe from ZANU was elected. He won 57 of the 100 seats and became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe because at that time, the presidential system had not yet been implemented. In the course of the Zimbabwe election there were only 3 presidents who had ruled this country. However, there are several facts that you may need to know so you can increase your historical knowledge about Zimbabwe. This article discusses about the detailed facts in the following explanation.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission or also known as ZEC is an independent organization that has controls of any levels of elections in Zimbabwe. Since the 1980’s election didn’t satisfy a lot of parties, then ZEC was established to manage and overseeing the electoral process occurred in the country. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s several official functions were done under the commando of Mrs. Justice Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba as the Chairperson and Mr. Emannuael Magade as the Deputy Chairperson.

elections in Zimbabwe
elections in Zimbabwe

The commission has to ensure all of the elections in Zimbabwe are free, fair, transparent, and in a line with the applied law, directing and controlling the voter registration, and guarding and controlling voter registration. These are the main official functions of the commission. However, their last task after the election is to choose what way or methodology should they use to announce the results of the election. The vote tabulation process should be done carefully. If an error was made, it will affect the results for the candidates. After the result poll is announced, then it is given to the House of Assembly and Senate, and National levels. ZEC also warned that all political candidates and their parties should wait the result.

First Elections Without Robert Mugabe

The 2018 elections 2 years ago were a slightly different election for Zimbabwe. It is because there is no participation of Robert Mugabe as a candidate in this election. As we already know, Robert Mugabe was the first prime minister for Zimbabwe and also president when the presidential system began to be implemented in Zimbabwe in 1987.

prime minister for Zimbabwe
prime minister for Zimbabwe

Before resigning because his policy was not approved by the military forces and his party members, Mugabe fired Emmerson Mnangagwa. But now, Emmerson Mnangagwa is the current president of Zimbabwe and a candidate for the Zanu-PH party. Emmerson Mnangagwa began serving as the President of Zimbabwe on November 24, 2017.

There Will be No “Ghost Voters” Anymore

It seems that ghost voter is a problem for all electoral system all over the world. Ghost voters is the source of the fraud. They can destroy polling numbers which was obtained by candidates during the election process. To overcome this matter, ZEC got a new task, they introduced the fingerprint ID system to register the voter’s name. In this way, one citizen will only be able to vote once. On the election day, citizens can only give their voting rights at the polling station. In addition, ID cards and photo taking will be applied to the registration process at the polling station.

No Animal as the Logos For The Candidates

This prohibition is imposed by the ZEC. Candidates are prohibited from using animals and weapons as logos during their campaign period, although in this case the use of pistols as logos is still permitted. Animals such as cheetahs, elephants, owls, leopards, lions, cobras, rhinos, buffaloes, swords and axes are strictly prohibited from being used as logos for candidates during their campaign period. To date, there has been no official explanation from the relevant authorities regarding this ban. However, according to a historian named Pathisa Nyathi, said that as an African citizen, if this matter is seen from supernatural beliefs, owls and snakes can be linked to supernatural powers because some snakes indeed symbolize ancestors.

The decline in rejection of LGBT Community

We can say that this is a breath of fresh air for the citizens of Zimbabwe. Especially for citizens who are included in the LGBT community. The LGBT community in Zimbabwe still belongs to a minority group. The behavior obtained by these people sometimes does not fair. They even rudely threatened sometimes. Especially, when Robert Mugabe once said that the LGBT community was worse than animals and claimed their orientation was not African. However, the reduction in the expression of hatred and harassment towards the LGBT community occurred during the campaign took place drastically. a lot of the Zimbabwe citizens hope that this decreasing of harsh treatment will continue to increase and the LGBT people in Zimbabwe can get proper and fair behavior like the majority of the others.