It makes for some profound reading of Zimbabwe’s political tenor.
The victory reinforces the contention that Zanu PF cannot win a free and fair election. The fact that this defeat was delivered on March 29, three years to the day after Zanu PF received a defeat in the 2008 harmonised elections and four years to the day after Sadc forced Mugabe to properly engage with the opposition in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, makes for interesting symbolism.
Zanu PF’s eagerness to embarrass its national chairman in a secret ballot is perhaps proof that they are becoming victims of their own propaganda and exaggerated sense of self.
It also demystifies the rhetoric around Zanu PF’s infallibility. It shows that Zan PF’s reliance on the margin of error can be checked by the power of numbers.
Given the undemocratic means through which Zanu PF had sought to take the position of Speaker of Parliament, ranging from nullification of the first result on flimsy grounds and alleged overt vote buying, the result should be seen as possessing greater meaning than merely the return of Lovemore Moyo, and his party to the Speakers Chair.
It breathes truth to the assertion that vote rigging in any election can be easily countered by sheer volume of voters – making inflation and deflation of votes more difficult. It doesn’t mean that people will not try, but the task is harder if the progressive turn- out is high.
Moyo’s re-election is also the triumph of unity of purpose over authoritarian overtures. The smaller faction of the MDC, led by Professor Welshman Ncube, deserves salutation for rallying behind the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai in order to avert a clear injustice and manipulation of both political and judicial processes.
Of course this being politics, there may be other motivations. However, what this action shows us is what a united opposition to Zanu PF is able to achieve, and leaves one wondering what could have been if this alliance of purpose had existed in the last harmonised elections.
The action by the smaller MDC puts the larger formation in a moral debt, and leaves them with all to do in order to show that they too can rise beyond myopic partisan interests and do what is right.
The action, also introduces an interesting twist to the issue of the Deputy Prime Minister’s position, which Professor Ncube has been trying to wrestle from Professor Arthur Mutambara – an ascendency, which his party alleges, has been blocked by both Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
The victory of Lovemore Moyo signifies a resounding defeat for Zanu PF and Jonathan Moyo’s machinations. It shows that Zanu PF’s terror tactics can be self-defeating.
The change of position by the MDC led by Ncube, based on what their secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said at a press conference on the eve of the election, showed that rather than endearing Zanu PF, such tactics actually lose them support. The election result, showed that these tactics can be defeated and the result must be celebrated as such, a defeat of cohesion, manipulation and corrupt ways of trying to subvert the will of the people.
A cursory inspection will show that these are the same tactics used even in broader national elections. The victory raises morale and confidence of supporters of change while demoralising Zanu PF supporters who have clearly been on the campaign trail for the past few months.