Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Sunday, condemned the rigging of Presidential election in Zimbabwe by the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, also accused the Heads of State and Governments of the African Union and indeed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of eerie silence in the face of electoral injustice being meted on the opposition presidential candidate in Zimbabwe widely believed to have won the election.
According to Frank, such electoral coups in the form of rigging often snowball into military coups and violent change of governments because of discontent and deep seated anguish of the people who have been denied the right to freely choose who to lead them by fraud and force.
He insisted that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner in questionable circumstances following widespread irregularities orchestrated by the ruling party in instilling fear and suppression of votes in opposition strongholds.
He noted that candidate of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa, was robbed of votes as attested by international observers and South African Regional body that monitored the election.
According to him, foreign poll monitors insisted that the elections had failed to meet regional and international standards just like the outcome of the February 25, 2023 presidential election in Nigeria that failed on all parameters due to overbearing influence of the ruling party and its use of financial inducements, intimidation and harassment of opposition and voters to deny Nigerians of their rightful choice.
The head of the European Union’s observer mission said the vote took place in a “climate of fear”, while Southern African regional bloc SADC’s mission raised issues including voting delays, issues with the voter roll, bans on opposition rallies and biased state media coverage.
“For example, voting was forced into an unprecedented second day because of delays in the printing of ballot papers in some key districts including the capital Harare, an opposition stronghold principally to deny Chamisa of votes,” he said.
He condemned a situation where African ruling parties are increasingly violating the electoral rights of the opposition parties and their candidates through rigging saying the trend will continue if measures are not taken to make African Heads of States to respect the sanctity of the ballot box.
He urged regional political blocs like the AU and ECOWAS to urgently call the President of Zimbabwe to order as a step towards curbing coup d’état now rearing its ugly head in many Africa countries like the recent one in Niger Republic.
“This is what African leaders are doing that is leading to military coups in the continent of Africa. An electoral coup has just taken place where the sitting President has outrightly rigged the election against the expressed will of the people.
“But neither African presidents nor AU has condemned what has happened in Zimbabwe. But if there is a military coup in Zimbabwe tomorrow, they will all begin to issue war threats in a bid to restore democratic rule,” he said.
He called on the United States of America, United Kingdom and other international bodies, to
lend their voice to condemn the electoral heist in Zimbabwe if they are genuinely interested in ending coups in Africa.
“So we are telling the international community that until they come together to make sure that African elections are transparent, free and fair, coups will not end in Africa,” he declared.
He called for urgent international sanctions against the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa and any President that rigs election in Africa to fraudulently perpetuate themselves in office against the wish of the people.
“The United Nations must ensure that henceforth Presidents or heads of governments that were rigged into office are not invited to attend its General Assembly or any of its international gatherings,” he said.