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Gloom Hovers Over Zimbabwe, Citizens In Post-Election Traumatic Disorder.

By Shingirai Vambe

What is the situation now?
is there anything that is going to happen or its over?
These are some of questions posed by citizens in Zimbabwe after the announcement of election results and inauguration of the winner.

It is safe to say that the 2023 elections have left Zimbabweans in quagmire.

Following the announcement of a mathematically inept presidential result, expectations were that of the Opposition political party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to challenge and refusing to accept the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) citing a number of legitimate electoral irregularities, misconduct and violations of democratic election principles.

Despite producing a stinging report, hope in Southern African Development Community (SADC) is slowly disappearing in the minds and hearts of many.

The only viable solution appears here to yellowbe either leaving the country and or change the business focus to a more selfish and profitable manner.

This has left over two million Zimbabweans in post-election traumatic disorder, the Post On Sunday can reveal.

The 2023 election has divided families and communities and arguably unleashed more anger and frustration than in any other election in recent memory. To vent their feelings, people are flooding social media with comments about how frazzled they are over the election and the events leading up to it.

All hope is gone, the ambiguity strategy employed by CCC leader Nelson Chamisa has yielded no result but more confusion and stress, more questions than answers and the leaders is quiet, life just goes on.

This is a different story from those in marginalized and rural communities, living the realities of threats and intimidation by state and ruling party members. They brave the attacks and sacrifice their families, in the spirit of democracy and constitutionalism, of freedom of association to any political party of choice.

After the polling day, some have left their families because they were agents of the opposition political parties and some out of suspicion that they are opposition supporters even when its personal hatred, one uses the political opportunity to attack a fellow countrymen or destroy his or her property.

These are the stories before, during and after elections in Zimbabwe.

Vendors at Avilla business Centre in Nyanga North-Pic by Shingirai Vambe

The Opposition has failed to guarantee security and safety of its members and supporters and its only in politics where one is able to violate the law, either by infringing one’s right(s).

No law has worked. Even the courts failed to deliver justice to the extent that after the polls, with the alleged capture, from past experience, the opposition saw it unnecessary to approach the courts to fight the election results.

Law enforcers have however gone berserk, arresting members of the opposition one after the other and has become a norm, something that is expected to happen, if not it will also create confusion and uncertainty.

A survey conducted by this publication during the election period in Honde Valley has shown that it is evident that they were under oppression, their voices are not even necessary as well as their votes because of how the election was conducted.

This is an indication that voter apathy will continue to grow and there is no guarantee of trust of the Electoral Commission in Zimbabwe, after some polling station received ballot papers around 8 and 10pm in Manicaland, having a situation of one looking for his or her name on the voters’ roll, if you fail to find it, you then go to another polling station, it was impossible at this time of the night for one to go one polling station after the other.

Some failed to cast their votes, they said they felt disfranchised.

These are some of the issues raised by the SADC Observer Mission that has caused uproar in the corridors of social media, one political party and its members coming against fellow African State and its members.

However, the silence has brewed anger and citizens pray that another leader must rise and lead them from the front.

CCC leader hasn’t spoken since the announcement of the results and citizens, in fact 2 million voters are eager to know what is the way forward.

The battle lines have only been drawn on social media, and “God Is In It” is the only statement, with various laws and Statutory Instruments in place, no one will dare stand and challenge any misconduct even in the way of protest as stated in the constitution, it’s by force.

More and more reports of attacks are coming from various communities of Manicaland and people are living in fear.

Some are told we are getting into a civil war while others are told youths are going for training and it became difficult to approach or get information from anyone on their experience during the election period because of fear.

After a long struggle, then later accepted but refused to be tele-interviewed, Tambudzai (not her real name) a small business entrepreneur at Hauna business centre told this publication that she was happy to have Elisabeth Valerio as a presidential candidate during the 2023 harmonized elections.

“It’s very unfortunate that as women we still want to vote for our male counterparts, it’s not bad, but we should learn to support each other as women. It’s no longer a secret, I voted for Elisabeth Valerio because she is a woman, my wish under the circumstances, is to have Nelson Chamisa, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Valerio in the Presidium “added Tambudzai.

She went further and said there is no equal representation of women in positions of power and there is need to have more and more women on the decision-making table.

It was again another struggle to convince her that she was safe, she didn’t want to give us her real name but later accepted.

Zimbabwean citizens are frustrated with the polarized political environment. ZANU PF leader and President, Emmerson Mnangagwa still insist that the election was free and fair. With reports claiming that the SADC Chair will meet to discuss on the report by the Observer Mission which claim that the process was a sham. Not only the SADC report stated that, including the European Union and Carter Center Observers reports.

The whole essence of having observers is to assemble a comprehensive and accurate assessment of the entire electoral process. Observers assess the electoral process against a country’s own election laws and against regional and international obligations and standards as outlined in relevant treaties, conventions, and inter-governmental political agreements. In the case of Zimbabwe, these include obligations accepted through the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and various U.N. conventions, among others.