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"Opposition Should Draw Lessons From 2008 Elections"

United States-based Zimbabwean Biomedical Scientist and Software Engineer, Freeman Chari, says it is a myth that ZANU PF has all the support in rural areas.

In a Twitter thread, Chari noted that the opposition MDC made inroads in Midlands and Masvingo, perceived ZANU PF strongholds in the 2008 elections and this shows that the opposition can win the rural vote in a free and fair election.

Chari, however, warned that the military, as a player and referee in elections in Zimbabwe, has the final say on who governs the country. Wrote Chari:

1. In 2008, ZANU PF had created 2 safety levers that were supposed to guarantee a Mugabe win and at worst make it hard for him to lose it. The first lever was the 50% + 1 rule which was enacted in 2007. The second was the introduction of the harmonized elections…

2. The goal of the 50% + 1 rule was to provide a basis for redress in the event that Mugabe lost. Previously whoever came first was going to be president.

3. ZANU knew that a senile Mugabe couldn’t out-run Tsvangirai. Instead, they created a situation where every ZANU candidate was forced to have skin in the game. Mugabe was supposed to be a ripple beneficiary of the campaigns of other candidates at council and parliamentary levels.

4. These 2 changes were calculated to keep Mugabe in power. I think there is general consensus that the March 2008 elections were the freest elections ever held in Zimbabwe. The calculation was if Mugabe won; the International Community would not have a leg to stand on…

5. For the first time MDC posters were pasted everywhere without reprisal. People campaigned, but obviously, because of the violent history, many people did not feel safe to even contest. That is how we ended up with many candidates whose qualification was just being brave…

6. Internal power dynamics within ZANU PF resulted in the Bhora Musango phenomenon. Mugabe was left to hang. He lost to MT presumably by a wider margin than reported. It took over a month for ZANU to declare the results. We didn’t have WhatsApp, few people had cellphones…

7. ZANU PF lost its parliamentary majority. The 2 MDCs; one led by MT and the other by Prof Mutambara had a simple majority. The first safety lever enabled Mugabe to declare a runoff even though it was widely believed he lost outright. They relapsed into their default settings

8. Mugabe re-enlisted Mnangagwa & Jonathan Moyo who both had fallen out of favour after the infamous Tsholotsho saga. Mnangagwa’s role was to galvanize the killing machine, while Moyo sanitized the murderers. Over 250 people were killed in cold blood & more than 1 million displaced

9. Tsvangirai fell victim to his conscience and pulled out of the June runoff. Mugabe ran by himself and declared himself the winner all the while swimming in the pool of innocent civilians’ blood.

10. The killing machine continued to abduct and slaughter opposition supporters until Tsvangirai was compelled into a Thabo Mbeki-engineered GNU at the end of 2008. The GNU was supposed to be a transitional period to usher in a new democratic Zimbabwe but as we all know…

11. We are now in a worse position today than we were at the end of the GNU. Most of the gains of GNU have been eroded by the same system that lost in 2008 but killed to survive with the complicit of South Africa and SADC as a whole.

12. When Jonathan Moyo and his fellow exiled former Mugabe ministers cry about the 2017 coup, we always remind him of the real coup that happened in 2008 which he worked so hard to sanitize. The 2017 coup was just thieves stealing for their fellow thieves.

13. There are lessons that we have to draw from this history: Lesson 1: ZANU PF does seemingly HOLY things but for DEMONIC reasons ALWAYS! At all times, mistrust anything they do, and check your side pockets whenever they come up with a new law or policy. ALWAYS!!!!!

14. Lesson 2: In a FREE and FAIR election the opposition has the capacity to win both urban and rural votes. It is a myth that ZANU PF has all the support in rural areas. 2008 MDC cleaned Manicaland and made significant gains in Midlands and Masvingo.

15. Lesson 3: The opposition can win an election but the military is the biggest elephant in the room. We can win in 2023 but the military which is a player & referee has the final say on power unless we have a strategy to – split the military – provide an alternative force

16. Lesson 4: ZANU PF kills for power. They don’t care about the common man. At some point, we need to all re-read Newton’s 3 laws of motion. #Ndatenda!

17. Here are Newton’s laws in context 1. ZANU PF will continue in its destructive path unless citizens decide to amass an alternative force 2. The more they loot the more they accelerate the destruction 3. Every action has a reaction, currently, ours is to whine. We need to… [emoji of a burning fire].

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sekuru waBona 1 month ago

mashoko makukutu

very good observations

thank you chasi

new kings 1 month ago

thank you Mr Chari

chipo 1 month ago


dispenser 1 month ago

true true . Even a street kid , l believe can out do those wicked men given a scenario of free. and fair election .

John Chibadura 1 month ago

I hate harmonised elections coz this was created to improve 4oom and chances of stealing an election. If possible let's do away with harmonised elections.
1. Harmonised elections have put more data for collating in the system thereby creating room for manipulation.
2. I have observed that in an harmonised election, some figures reported in certain constituencies are unrealistic, whch I think, they just pick some figures for parliamentary statistics for their gain. Eg chiredzi district where we said sugacane voted in 2018.
3. If election is contested in a harmonised election, the v11 forms needed to argue will be too much therby giving them room to manipulate the judiciary

bigge smalls 1 month ago

by harmonised he means kubatanidzwa kwe parliamentary and presedential elections not harmony in the literal sense before zvaiitwa separately

Mombe=Donkey 1 month ago

Chibadura nzwisiso inenge inokunetsa

dispenser 1 month ago

I don't understand part of yr argument Are yu saying election are supposed to be violent, when something is said to be in harmony , what does it mean


Tkt 1 month ago

Wow, what a great Essay, 👏👏👏 now then let's run into 2023 tigoona zviroto zvenyu, I will reserve my comment!

vakomana ka 1 month ago

harmonised meaning presidential, parliamentary, etc done at the same time not to mean without violence

John Chibadura 1 month ago

Harmonised in the context of elections means combined elections of presidential, parliamentary and local authority. Prior to 2008 elections, we used to have parliamentary and local authority elections in one year and presidential elections after 2 years. This system if elections was outlawed in 2007 of which harmonised elections started in 2008.

Maparamuro 1 month ago

Council elections results collation ends at ward level, parliamentary results collation ends at constituency level and the winner declared there. Only presidential results collation are done at provincial and national level. A opposition that is really serious about winning cannot miss that or get confused by that. The constituency results can be contested at constituency level and the dispute sdispute right there.
Presidential results can also be disputed and settled at constituency level before the v23B forms are transmitted to the province.

Chigumba has challenged the opposition parties to do their own parallel collation of results at each level and compare with that of zec.
It's up to the one crying foul to prove that there was foul play which cost him a favorable result in any contest.

We could add the senators and chief's elections if they existed and the collation would never be an issue if all parties are serious and deploy competent people as agents. Problem is parikupinda the brave illiterate not the competent.

dispenser 1 month ago

That's why I'm better off as not commenting again .

dispenser 1 month ago

Lord we need yr help , liberate us from this hegemony .we must be suffering out of ignorance , come to our rescue.

Maparamuro 1 month ago

Elections can only be rigged because the losers allow the rigging to take place. The stories of rigging we hear are simply fictitious. If all polling stations have party agents present then no rigging takes place. Failure to deploy election agents by any contesting party is an act of enabling the rigging process. Those that fail to deploy party agents are equally guilty of rigging.

anti-riggers 1 month ago

you pretend as if you don't know dez blood-thirsty savages...they wl nt allow opposition agents to be there or to be observants...

Jorijo 1 month ago

Election in harmony,,,free n fair 🎶 by sing n harmony tichikwenya,vachikwenya vachihukura togadzirisa zvedu

chati homu! ...chareva 1 month ago

..a correct analysis indeed! ... however events on mother Earth are controlled by an invisible hand. All the valiance that man has will come to not if God's season has come... because the race is not to the swift, neither the battle to the strong but as the fish are caught in an evil net, so are the swift & cunning caught in the day of evil because time & chance happeneth to them all.

mutsa 1 month ago


Riggs 1 month ago

ko ivo vanoriga vanodii kurigao haiwawo kutinyaudza secheche. hee vote buying mofunga mungavhoterw muchiwawata pasocial vamwe vachisvika paground vonyengerera

cde chipopi 1 month ago

we need more people like Chari who work tirelessly to examine an evil system in order to expose their dirty tricks. Zvinobatsira kusvinudza ruzhinji izvozvo

Muzarabani CCC 1 month ago

Easier said than done.No local will risk their lives by working as our pollling agents.They know the consequences.

T Madungwe 1 month ago

I as the heavenly Army command I have not at any point attended any meeting concerning the change of government in Zimbabwe . zviripo zvichangopfuurira mberi zvakadaro. munonovhota henyu asi God is telling me there is no change to come

T Madungwe 1 month ago

I as the heavenly Army command I have not at any point attended any meeting concerning the change of government in Zimbabwe . zviripo zvichangopfuurira mberi zvakadaro. munonovhota henyu asi God is telling me there is no change to come

Desmond 22 1 month ago

Interesting observation by Chari. In 2008 MDC fielded councillors whose only qualification was being brave.

They created the mess we have at Harare City Council.

Ordained by God 1 month ago

2023 elections are just a formality.
God has ordained me to be the next President of Zimbahwe.
All I need is a bit of cash to place polling agents in Uzumba, Maramba-Pfungwe etc

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