24 July 2018

Zimbabwe: Why Nelson Chamisa Will Lose

Photo: allafrica.com
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa (file photo).
opinion

As the election draws closer, I have found it necessary to share my views on the two candidates that are perceived to be leading in the race, and as such provide my view on why I believe Mr Nelson Chamisa is going to lose this elections.

The 'Rebels Effect'

There is a school of thought that says both Mr Chamisa and President Mnangagwa are leading 'divided' parties. From a pedestrian analysis point of view it seems so, but this school of thought needs to be properly analysed.

The perceived division has done more damage to the Chamisa campaign than to the Mnangagwa campaign. To explain the above I will use the 'in-house enemy theory' whereby the perceived enemies who are likely to threaten your campaign are your erstwhile Comrades.

Emmerson Mnangagwa's enemies have always been the G40 cabal who are currently either relegated from active politics or are making little impact on the ground. Recently the G40 backed NPF failed to mobilise more than 30 people for a protest march, as reported by a multiplicity of media houses in Zimbabwe.

The majority of G40 bigwigs have chosen to toe the party correct line by endorsing President ED Mnangagwa, except for a few vindictive malcontents who are trying their political fortunes in various ways, including joining Chamisa's alliance.

The chances of scuccess are extremely slim, and most likely a rude awakening is awaiting these people. Unlike the Zanu PF scenario whereby the 'rebels' are making little or no impact especially in the party's strongholds the MDC Alliance situation is different.

The 'rebels' in the MDC have successfully managed to win over the legal battle that gives them the right to use the name and logo of the party on the ballot paper; which is likely to affect Chamisa's chances in a damaging way.

Apart from the legal battle victory, the influential party members are capable of upsetting Chamisa's run in this election. These include Thokozani Khupe, Lovemore Moyo, Moses Mzila, Abedinigo Bhebhe, Eddie Cross, Obert Gutu, Warship Dumba, Priscilla Misihairabwi among many others.

To make matters worse the politicians mentioned above are coming from the MDC Alliance's perceived strongholds (Harare and Matebeleland). This means the MDC Alliance will have to fight a three headed demon; first the double candidates in their own alliance, then the MDC T candidates who will fish from their usual pond and finally, and perhaps most importantly facing a rejuvenated Zanu PF under the leadership of a reconciliatory ED Mnangagwa.

 The Coalition Effect

From a traditional contest of between 2 to 5 candidates for the Presidential election, this is a historic election with 23 candidates. To explain it easier, it is Zanu PF vs 22 Presidential candidates.

In actual fact the 22 candidates are sharing the opposition vote while Zanu PF largely mantains vote block - to it added the new voters and its own inroads into traditional MDC strongholds. The MDC Alliance lacked judgement by entering into a coalition that really does not matter or change anything.

The 7 political parties they entered into effectively are briefcase parties whose membership is only the President or simply the national executive with no or little grass-root support. In this coalition, many seats were traded using unfounded logic. MDC-T gave itself 114 seats while others were spread over little known parties and the MDC membership are compelled to support the said candidates.

Francis Gava Mufambi is Zanu-PF Cape District Youth League Secretary For Finance

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