Introduction to Political Theory

(Marvins-Underground-K-12) #1

Zimbabwean elections,

June 2000


n 24 and 25 June 2000, parliamentary
elections took place in Zimbabwe. The
ruling party, the Zimbabwean African
National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
had been badly shaken by a referendum on a new
constitution that they had held in February and
which they lost. There was substantial violence
and intimidation before the June elections (most
of it by the supporters of ZANU-PF) and none
of the international observers thought that the
election was ‘fair and free’.
Four voters are waiting to vote in a con-
stituency in the capital city, Harare. The first
calls himself a war veteran (though he was too
young to have fought in the independence war),
and is grateful to the ruling party for providing
him with income. He has just come from a farm
outside Harare where he has been involved in
burning down the house of a white farmer and
helping to take over the land. He will certainly
vote for the ruling party and feels that the whites
and the main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), are trying to
return Zimbabwe to its former colonial past
and are basically in the pay of the British

The second voter is an elderly white woman.
Unlike some of her friends who cannot vote
because they hold British passports, she is a
Zimbabwean citizen who was born in the
country. She is alarmed at the high inflation
and the land seizures that she believes to be
unconstitutional, and will vote for the MDC.
The third voter is a resident in one of the
townships in Harare. He is angered by the
decline in his living standard and the fact that
he recently lost his job. He is worried about the
future of his family and is thinking of going to
South Africa. Although he initially supported
ZANU-PF, he will now vote for the MDC.
The fourth voter is a domestic worker in
Harare. She was initially hostile to the dwindling
minority of whites since her white employer is
somewhat arrogant and paternalistic. But she has
heard from relatives in the rural areas of the
massive intimidation of voters, and can buy less
and less with her meagre income. Although she
would like to see more blacks own land, she feels
that the land seizure programme is basically
benefiting wealthy ministers in the government
and will not help ordinary people. She will vote

Opposition MDC supporters in 2013; 13 years on Mugabe and ZANU-PF are still in power
© Reporter#7493001/Demotix/Corbis
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