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2018 Elections - Who will take the front seat?

07 Feb 2018 at 14:08hrs | Views
Looking at the current political developments in the country one would agree with me that, the country is now ripe for Economic development. 2018 elections were once necessary mainly to end the regime under the administration of former President of Zimbabwe Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Clashes between the police and activist or opposition parties holding placards calling Robert Mugabe to go were the order of the day in 2017. Many articles were written for the former President to step down and we witnessed a lot of arrests to the opposition as well as to the activist groups. However due to the military intervention as well as mounting pressure from the general populace of Zimbabwe, the President resigned on 27 November 2017 leading to the inauguration of the man who had been the former President's political mate since 1950s. The man I share the same totem with, Comrade Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa! It was the coming of the new era in Zimbabwe. Even the opposition political leaders Morgan Tsvangirai, former Vice President Joice Mujuru as well as other opposition leaders among other diplomats and dignitaries from other countries graced his inauguration. It was a historic event for us who were born after the country attained independence in 1980.

We have seen many industries that had closed re-opening again and this includes the David Whitehead Textile Industries (collapsed in 2011) in Chegutu, ZISCO Steel in Kwekwe among others. Also His Excellence the President Mnangangwa was invited to the Wold Economic Forum, a step further for the development of the country. I recall his statement in Davos when he told the world that Zimbabwe is now open for investment. However though our country was aiming at building the economy, there is still a fear in many people who don't know what will befall the country after August 2018 – after General Elections. Of course His Excellence had said countless times that Elections will be free and fair. I agree with everyone that for democracy to be recognised, there must be a government that comes after the full participation of people of that nation in elections. A democratic government is defined as a government of the people, by the people, for the people according to Abraham Lincoln. A leader that is chosen by the people. However from one's point of view Zimbabwe is not ready for elections but to formalise democracy, elections must be held in 2018. So who is going to take the front seat in the following elections?

Looking at the current developments in the country even the ruling party is not prepared to face elections this year. Firstly, their Presidential candidate is someone who was introduced to the political helm recently by the military intervention in the country. I tend to disagree with anyone who can say all Zimbabweans are familiar with President Mnangagwa. ZANU PF for the past thirty seven years had idolised the former President, Comrade Robert Mugabe. Everyone in Zimbabwe from small pikin to the elderly, know Robert Mugabe more than any other minister in the party. To me it is risky for the party to introduce a new candidate few months before general elections. Elections were supposed to be held maybe two years from now to allow the President to familiarize himself with the general populace especially those in the remote parts of the country who cannot afford to buy a newspaper. There is no means of communication in these areas that can educate these people on who the new President is. For us who are in Harare we know him and we follow him almost daily even on social media. Having the candidature of President Mnangagwa for the next elections is like testing political waters. It is difficult to cross the river that you don't see its depth. The river is muddy comrades, how do you know that you can cross? No one knows! However if in any case, the new President won these elections, I assure you no other election will stop him again during his two year terms in office.

Adding on the confusion, the current President His Excellence Emmerson Mnangagwa, introduced what I can call, 'Clean-up Campaign' in the party thus purging all members of the party that were aligned to the G40 faction. Of course it is called Operation Restore Order, but at the end this will continue to create unending cracks within the party. Almost twenty ministers aligned to the G40 were fired or arrested. It is one of the best moves, but it was done at the wrong time. This will weaken the party following elections. Preaching reconciliation sometimes makes no sense is the preacher changes his mind after leaving the pulpit. The preacher must be the first person to practice right living for people to believe the preacher's gospel. Remember these Members of Parliament will go with their votes. For example, when Honourable Themba Mliswa was fired from ZANU PF, he was seen rubbing shoulders with others members in Parliament. Why? He won as an Independent candidate. Everyone was shocked when they saw that Mr Themba Mliswa, won the Norton constituency by-election, polling 8 927 votes against Zanu-PF's Cde Ronald Chindedza who garnered 6 129, according to the Herald 23 October 2016. He won with a great margin. Other members of the G40 who would cause no harm were supposed to be left alone. It is my prayer that ZANU PF should accommodate other members who were even in the past not supporting their faction so as not splitting votes following 2018 General Elections. From this point of view it is difficult for ZANU PF to win free and fair elections in the following elections.

Last week's news did not go well with some comrades in ZANU PF, former Vice President Joice Mujuru reportedly to have being called by former President Robert Mugabe. Why was she called? What was discussed? This is another unknown fear that could strike comrades in ZANU PF. If in any case the former President join hands with Mujuru, then ZANU PF will be left with nothing to do than to rig elections. Why? Because they will not win with majority vote. Though former President resigned, but he has a great following. Following the purging that befallen some members of ZANU PF aligned to G40, all these members will have no option but to join Mujuru. As a result this will spell disaster to the ruling party. In this case one can say if the Mujuru led Alliance spelt their strategy very well they will be able to garner support from the all the fired and independent members in Zimbabwe.

In the main opposition camp, one can say, 'the house is on fire'. The President of the main opposition Morgan Tsvangirai, is not feeling well and we are all praying for his speedy recovery However, factional fights loomed within the party on who will succeed Morgan Tsvangirai. Some support the youthful-energetic Nelson Chamisa whilst others are against the idea. Some want to further developments on mending relations with other MDC groups to form an alliance. The idea of having an alliance is an idea that was welcomed by almost everyone in Zimbabwe before the fall of Robert Mugabe. However, after the fall of Robert Mugabe, fights within the alliance increased. The MDC alliance is one of the groups that the rest of Zimbabwe thought will stop ZANU PF's four decades in power. The fights within the alliance as well as the MDC T are the ones that cost the party or alliance from defeating the ZANU PF led government. A lot of people that I have met are reluctant to register to vote. They were willing to register before resignation of Robert Mugabe.  Now many people are more willing to work for their families rather than focusing on what is happening in the political arena. The one who is going to take the front seat in 2018 is not known, all we can say is Good Luck Comrades!

Patrick Imbayarwo writes this article in his own capacity as a student, Contact Details: 0776212330, Email:

Source - Patrick Imbayarwo
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