A group of unemployed youths are gathered quietly while glued to their cellphones at Sekusile shopping centre in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane high density the suburb.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
They are all reading the results of the harmonised election being posted on various websites.
“But guys this is strange, how on earth can Zanu PF win all the seats in Masvingo and also win some seats in Harare,” one of them says, breaking the deafening silence.
None of them have the answers. They only shake their heads in utter disbelief.
Bulawayo has literally been plunged into mourning after Zanu PF won with a landslide in the harmonised election.
The majority of people in the city voted for the Movement for the Democratic Change (MDC-T) party led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Although the MDC-T won all the parliamentary seats, full results released by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) indicated that this did not matter much, as Zanu PF managed to secure a two thirds majority vote.
As a result, in commuter omnibuses, workplaces, beer halls and church gatherings in Bulawayo yesterday, people are quietly discussing the “Tsunami” that had befallen them.
They said the future was bleak under President Robert Mugabe’s rule for another five years.
Some were already contemplating relocating to neighboring countries such as South Africa and Botswana, fearing “impending” economic hardships similar to those of the pre-government of national unity (GNU) era.
“I am planning to join my brothers in South Africa. I know under Mugabe’s rule things are going to be tough. More industries are going to close and people are going to lose their jobs,” said Thulani Nyoni of Nkulumane 12 suburb.
There were claims that last week’s elections were fraught with irregularities.
MDC-T presidential candidate Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the elections were heavily manipulated and did not meet minimum election standards for the Sadc and the African Union (AU).
“The shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis,” said Tsvangirai.
‘BYO MOST AFFECTED BY ECONOMY DECLINE’
Under Mugabe’s 33-year-rule, Zimbabwe‘s economy collapsed but this was worse in Bulawayo, which saw over 80% of its industries shutting down.
Thousands of workers were left jobless in the city following the closure of companies mostly in the manufacturing sector, textile and clothing sector.
“If Mugabe failed the economy in the last 33 years, what’s new that he is going to do now to revive it,” said Mqondisi Nyoni from Tshabalala suburb.
Nyoni added: “I foresee us going back to the 2007/2008 situation, where we had to scramble for food. Those queues for food in the shops will be back and I can’t wait for that and next week I want to sort out my passport and go back to Botswana where I used to work last year.”
It is estimated that there are over three million Zimbabweans who are staying in South Africa.
“The only person who had the keys to re-open the Bulawayo industry was Tsvangirai but since Mugabe has won, we just have to forget about that,” said a civil servant, who spoke on condition of anonymity.