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Kasukuwere carries excess baggage

06 Jul 2023 at 08:11hrs | Views
The impending August 23 harmonised elections hold an immense significance for the one who will come out victorious at the end of the race.

Various political figures have emerged out of the woodwork as potential contenders to wrest the country's presidency from President Mnangagwa, but one can be sure that former G40 kingpin Saviour Kasukuwere's victory is, but a mirage in the horizon.

This is due to his controversial reputation, lack of a broad-based support and ineffectual economic policies among others.

These will result in his failure to garner enough votes to secure the presidency in the plebiscite.

Kasukuwere's controversial reputation is indeed a major primary factor that may hinder his chances of garnering sufficient votes to make a dent on President Mnangagwa's votes tally as many are already concluding let alone wrest the crown from him.

Kasukuwere has been associated with allegations of corruption, violence and mismanagement.

He is described as a violent individual who mobilised rowdy gangs to unleash violence on his fellow countryman especially in his Mashonaland Central home province.

He is reported to have been the architect of a spat of violence across the country since the year 2000 to the year 2008.

Kasukuwere is reported to have sponsored and led the terror squads to physically attack and cause grievous bodily harm on people and some of them are believed to have died from wounds while others were maimed for life.

Such negative perceptions can significantly affect the voters' trust and faith in his ability to lead the nation effectively and ethically.

A research carried out on social media showed that Kasukuwere does not command popular support. If anything, his overtures to contest this year's presidential election and his submission of nomination papers through a proxy last month has highlighted the fact that he suffers a serious lack of support.

It is sad that he believes the daydream that he has loyal supporters within local political parties.

It is a known fact that his overall popularity among a diverse range of voters is limited.

Building public confidence and support requires a broad appeal and the ability to connect with citizens from various socio economic backgrounds and levels. It simply requires one to belong to a political party that has reach in all the four corners of the country.

Mushrooming from the dungeons of political oblivion and coming on the 11th hour to contest in a presidential election that he is sure to lose is going to result in Kasukuwere struggling to gain the widespread support necessary for a successful campaign.

Some have been arguing that whatever he garners on August 23 , is going to erode President Mnangagwa's votes given that he (Kasukuwere) is a former Zanu-PF.

They have further contended that this will gift CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa with an electoral victory, but nothing is further from the truth.

The whole world knows that Chamisa is battling self-made internal strife following his ill-thought-out undemocratic candidate selection process which has ripped his party apart. His lack of sound ideology, known policies and projects is going to be his undoing.

In 2018 Chamisa garnered a decent vote tally as the electorate was emerging from the socio-economic challenges.

 This time around the political ground has shifted under his feet.

President Mnangagwa's inclusive development thrust has won the hearts of many people. This contrasts sharply with the opposition's poor stewardship of 28 out of the country's 32 urban local authorities. I digress.

Back to Kasukuwere. What the guy seems to forget is that politics in Zimbabwe is organised around political parties and party loyalty.

In this respect Kasukuwere faces two obstacles in his quest to win the number one seat in Zimbabwe.

First, his previous, affiliation with Zanu-PF will cause him to lose supporters from the opposition parties in Zimbabwe, while his involvement with the G40 cabal is a huge hindrance and an obstacle for him to lure any voters within the ruling party.

He is bound to face big challenges in convincing voters that he has turned a leaf from his old ways. His task is further worsened by the fact that he refused to apply and re-join the party.

Contrary to his claim that he is coming back to "save" Zanu-PF from President Mnangagwa, the correct position is that he is a political pirate seeking to be embraced, supported by and voted for by Zanu-PF members.

Fortunately, Zanu-PF members are not stupid. They have seen a number of stalwarts leaving the party in the past and trying to fish from the party from outside only for them to lose elections spectacularly.

Party members will, therefore, not fall for Kasukuwere's politically childish antics.

Kasukuwere's absence from Zimbabwe for years, takes away from him the ability to relate with or interpret the country's economic situation well enough to proffer sound economic policies in his campaign for the presidential seat.

Given the challenges that the country is currently facing in rebuilding its economy and improving the people's standards of living despite the albatross of sanctions, the people will likely scrutinise candidates' economic acumen and proposed policies.

Unfortunately, Kasukuwere's tenure as Minister of Local Government and National Housing was marked by allegations of economic mismanagement and failure to address crucial issues like house shortages.

He has a huge disadvantage in terms of perceiving and understanding how the prevailing economic situation has affected Zimbabweans given that he has not been on the ground for years to share the experiences of the grassroots electorate.

This will most certainly dissuade voters from perceiving Kasukuwere as a candidate who can effectively tackle the challenges that the people of Zimbabwe are facing.

Only political fools would vote for a candidate who deserted his country in preference for the comforts of foreign lands only to claim to foist himself on them as their leader.

Kasukuwere does not understand the concerns and anxieties of people in Mbare, Makokoba, Sakubva or Chitekete.

Despite being a Zimbabwean, his long sojourn in South Africa makes him a total stranger to Zimbabwe's socio-economic terrain and its inhabitants.

Furthermore, Kasukuwere has shown the people of Zimbabwe that he cannot be relied on due to the display of cowardice that he exhibited during the nomination court process by not personally showing up in person to register as a presidential candidate.

He, instead, chose to send in proxies like lawyer, Jacqueline Sande, to represent him for fear of the unknown. How then does he expect to campaign for the presidency of this country, if he is not willing to face his skeletons head on?

President Mnangagwa, despite knowing what awaited for him in the then Southern Rhodesia, proceeded to come through from Zambia because his aim was to liberate the people of Zimbabwe no matter the cost.

When President Mnangagwa arrived in Zimbabwe at that tender age he was sentenced to death after blowing a section of the railway in Masvingo.

The death sentence was commuted to 10 years on account of his young age.

He served the sentence knowing that he was arrested for the worthy cause of liberating his people.

One wonders how Kasukuwere expects to challenge a candidate with such an impressive liberation war record and a great track record for delivering inclusive development across Zimbabwe over the past five years?

 This only remains to be seen as the country heads for the August 23, harmonised elections.

Will Kasukuwere show up for his election campaigns or he will Bluetooth his campaigns through the social media and send in his ballot paper by courier companies like DHL? This remains to be seen.

Source - The Herald
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