Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), finally launched his party campaign in front of a packed crowd at Gweru’s Mkoba Stadium after being denied by the police for weeks.
Chamisa took the opportunity to throw jabs at current President Emmerson Mnangagwa, promising an end to partisan politics and national divisions. He also vowed to ensure farmers have security of tenure by providing title deeds instead of 99-year leases.
Chamisa attempted to appeal to farmers, artisanal miners, and rural voters who typically vote for Zanu PF, promising that nobody would be evicted or deprived of opportunities during his leadership. He pledged to end corruption, improve salaries for civil servants, and arrest the economic collapse which has affected the people of Zimbabwe.
During his campaign, Chamisa accused Mnangagwa of allowing minerals to be exported without value addition and promised that his government would not allow minerals to be exported raw. He also criticized Zanu PF for not providing value to the country’s minerals and accused them of stealing gold.
Chamisa also addressed the issue of double nominations, promising to publish a list of genuine candidates soon. The launch rally was ignored by vice-presidents Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, both notable senior members in the opposition party.
Chamisa concluded his speech by stating that voters should choose between light and darkness, between a government that can make life better for them or one which can make things worse. He expressed confidence in facing both Mnangagwa and former Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who he believes are good candidates for defeat ahead of the polls.
The launch shows Chamisa is ready to fight the election despite police obstacles. But he faces an uphill battle convincing rural voters to abandon Zanu PF.