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Kubatana election comment

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At first glance, with 131 House of Assembly results announced, Zimbabwe’s election race is quite close. Zanu PF has claimed 64 seats, with 62 for the MDC (Tsvangirai) and 5 for Mutambara’s MDC.

The MDC (Tsvangirai) is doing particularly well in Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo, while Zanu PF continues to cling to areas like Mashonaland West, East and Central, as well as in the Midlands. Results from Matabeleland and Manicaland have been slowest to come in. The MDC (Mutambara)’s 5 seats are all in Matabeleland South.

There have been some impressive gains for the MDC – for example a win in Gokwe Kabuyuni, and defeats of Zanu PF heavies like Chen Chimutengwende in Mazowe Central and Patrick Chinamasa in Makoni Central.

But there are also some worrying trends. At a House of Assembly level, the MDC and Zanu PF are almost tied in the number of constituencies won, but Zanu PF is ahead in terms of the number of votes cast. When the MDC wins, it is winning by an average of 3,000 votes. When Zanu PF wins, it wins by an average of over 4,000. So the MDC (Tsvangirai) is trailing Zanu PF in total votes cast by about 13%.

Zanu PF has also claimed some much larger wins than the MDC (Tsvangirai) has been given. In Mt Darwin West, Uzumba, Rushinga and Maramba Pfungwe, over 13,000 people reportedly voted for Zanu PF in each of these constituencies. The MDC’s largest wins are Budiriro (11,880 people voted MDC (Tsvangirai)), Warren Park (9,652 people voted MDC (Tsvangirai)) and Hatfield (9,575 votes for MDC (Tsvangirai). Voter turn out is around 40% – but Zanu PF won seats tend to be over this average, and MDC won seats – particularly in Bulawayo, are hovering far under. These particularly high turn out rural seats are among those the MDC will dispute, but court challenges have never been a productive way to challenge Zanu PF’s rule.

Also, the split in the MDC has handed Zanu PF some victories it might not other wise have taken, including Mutare South, Lupane West, Gokwe Kabuyuni, Vungu, Zvishavane-Ngezi and in particular Chirumanzu, where the MDC split right up the middle and back down both sides, with not one or two but three MDC candidates contesting.

There are still no guarantees. Zanu PF has more votes than any other party. But it only has 47% of the votes cast so far. If this trend continues at the presidential level, and Robert Mugabe (or any other candidate) doesn’t more than 50% of the presidential votes, a runoff will have to take place.

One comment to “Kubatana election comment”

  1. Comment by BM:

    All the ZEC results have to compared to the Polling station actual figures. There are a lot of problems, not necessarily the ‘other’ party winning but in changes to the number of votes cast. For example, Mberengwa West somehow gained 3000 votes between the polling station results and ZEC announcement! One reason for the slow ZEC results seems to be that whoever is doing the rigging is doing it with sublety… adding bits and pieces to Zanu-pf numbers… perhaps this is the Mossad experts we’ve been told about?