Africa’s Fair Election Charter– Ever autocratic, President Mugabe has maintained his stand on not signing the African charter on elections.
The charter would ensure the thriving of democratic ideals in member states. In 2007, other member states signed the charter except for Zimbabwe and 7 other countries.
Analysts have found this as a show of autocracy, accusing the ruling party, Zanu PF of “loathing democracy”.
By failing to either sign or ratify the treaty from 2007 till now(2017), Zimbabwe has indirectly posed as a threat to respect for the rule of law and human rights as well.
With the successful depose of Jammeh from power, AU is challenged to uphold more democratic resolves in African governance. Sadly, no external political influence may successfully intervene in the participation of 92-year old Mugabe in the forthcoming election.
In the words of Maxwell Saungweme, a political analyst, Mugabe’s love for autocratic leadership is the reason why the nation has seen series of rigged and violent elections.
“It is well documnted that we have a history of violent elections that in most cases were neither free nor fair”
“There is no interest in Mugabe or his party for democratic free and fair polls, as such elections would guarantee his exit.”
He described having Mugabe at the helm of affairs in AU as a “goat under the custody of a hyena”. It is ironic that Mugabe heads a pro-democratic organization but fails to uphold democratic principles in his own country.
“Mugabe neither believes in democracy nor free and fair elections and it will be phantasmagorical to think that Zimbabwe will ratify the charter under the current regime.”
Adding to his sentiment, Charles Mangongera partially blames the AU for Zimbabwe’s rejection of the charter, saying that the “AU lacks sanction mechanisms for errant countries”.
Despite being a member of SADC (Southern African Development Community), he says Mugabe has been flouting the rules of the organization without any sanctions.
Zimbabwe is not the only country that has neither signed nor ratified Africa’s fair election charter. Other countries include Botswana, Libya, Tanzania, Gambia, Egypt, Seychelles, and Eritrea.
Part of the reason for not complying is the fear of manipulations since some of these treaties were propounded and funded by the West.