Saviour Kasukuwere, blocked from running for president by a court, says he will not be endorsing any candidate in Wednesday’s general elections – but he is urging his supporters not to vote for the incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe has a field of 11 candidates, including Mnangagwa, after Kasukuwere was removed from the list by a court which had been petitioned by a Zanu PF activist to bar him on the basis that he had been out of the country for more than 18 months.
Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa is the frontrunner among Mnangagwa’s challengers, but Kasukuwere on Monday appeared not keen to back the 45-year-old pastor and lawyer.
“ABE,” Kasukuwere responded to ZimLive when asked if he would be endorsing any candidate. “Anyone but Emmerson,” he explained.
Kasukuwere is a former Zanu PF politburo member and cabinet minister, but he filed papers to run for president as an independent. He has not hidden his desire to one day return from exile in South Africa to lead the party, from which he was jettisoned in 2017 when the military ousted Robert Mugabe in a coup and installed Mnangagwa in his place.
The extent of the former Mt Darwin MP’s influence remains untested, but he is thought to command the support of Mugabe loyalists, particularly in the former president’s Mashonaland strongholds where tribal affinity can yield political dividend.
Kasukuwere is Zezuru, while Mnangagwa and Chamisa are Karanga.