2018 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: No candidate will be able to score 50% of the votes, Mnangagwa will come second

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Though people welcomed Zanu PF's new dispensation, there are several grey areas which people raised. The issue of corruption is very toxic even up to date. People raised the issue of corruption that we still have the same Zanu PF, and it has never changed.

Emmerson Mnangagwa the New Candidate on the Bloc

People are saying a leopard will never change its skin, whilst others are claiming that CHANGA CHIRI CHINHU CHAVO, it was never meant for the people, it was well planned before, only to be implemented timely. Most people didn't like Chinamasa's comments when he clearly told people that this is a Zanu PF project, honestly people felt used by the system to achieve their hidden agenda. This is what people are saying. The composition of the cabinet did not reflect the will of the people, it is gender biased, with most people accused of corruption. ED brought in the same people, no major changes. Women were undermined in political and economic development, though ED went on to appoint Chigumba and another lady to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, but most people highlighted that women were supposed to be part of the cabinet. President ED highlighted the issue of corruption, but suddenly took a back seat, lights went off, the zeal to fight corruption came to a standstill, and people like Chivayo, Chombo and others are still roaming in the streets despite him claiming that he will deal with corruption decisively. People expected rampant economic growth immediately when ED was sworn in, and Davos trip where he promised free and fair elections whilst back home Joice Mujuru was being assaulted. Most people expressed concern with the military Government citing fear during the run up to harmonized elections. Mainly issues which are likely to affect ED are the issue of war veterans who were left out, they felt used, the issue of how he assumed power, the composition of the cabinet, economic challenges which he inherited and corruption in his Government. People mainly expressed the issue of unity Government. When majority of people participated in the march, they thought a GNU was going to be created and all parties will then work together. ED may perform badly in Matabeleland, some parts of Midlands, Mash central, Mash east, west and some greater parts of Harare. Not everyone benefited from this dispensation, we still have over 93% unemployment rate, cash challenges, people expressed concern over the way appointments were handled.

MDC Likely To Settle For Nelson Chamisa

If you look at the current scenario in the MDC you can safely conclude that Chamisa will be the MDC presidential candidate, and this may send shivers into the ruling party bigwigs and territory. Chamisa with his political clout, he may secure a good number of parliamentary seats particularly in urban areas. The advantage Chamisa has over other MDC stalwarts is that he has been very loyal and keen to Tsvangirai the veteran trade Unionist. He has been in the system for too long and he headed the organizing portfolio before and he has the experience in politics, he has the knowledge of MDC politics from top brass to grassroots level. Most of urban seats if not all will go with Chamisa, and with a big chunk in rural areas as well. We don't want to dwell much on the MDC succession squabbles because it is now clear Chamisa will be on the ballot and he is likely to go with a higher percentage. The advantage he has this is a new candidate, competing with another new candidate on the bloc. If you remember very well, in 2008, MDC almost swept across all rural and urban seats even in 2000 where they got 52 seats whilst Zanu PF got 62. We are likely to have that scenario this year. Once a presidential candidate for MDC is announced, with the current economic outlook, people may go for the new opposition candidate on the bloc. I forsee a scenario where MDC will have a lot of new MPs, in fact majority in parliament but with a different head of state. Once Chamisa's candidature is announced, a lot of new voters, including most young people are likely to opt for Chamisa than ED. They are going to compare age wise and other factors. The main challenge, MDC and Chamisa will have is resource and funding. The other factor will be the wrangles in the MDC may take time to heal, given the node that we are 5 months away from elections. This is going to fuel confusions and defections to other parties, but a good number of MDC supporters will remain with Chamisa and the alliance. He is likely to remain with at least 97.5% of the supporters, mainly those who sympathize with veteran former prime minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai. However his main challenges will be Khupe and group which may refuse to give in on alliance demands, which will further divide the votes. Unless Khupe and Chamisa compromise then they will be the great beneficiaries of this election.

Mujuru's NPP And Her Old Stock

There are people who always sympathize with the former deputy president who feel she was not treated fairly when she was expelled from Zanu PF. If you study carefully the political landscape you will discover that Mujuru is gaining ground in Mashonaland Province, Mash central, Mash East and this is Sydney Sekeramayi's home area and Mash west. Zanu PF will perform badly in these areas. These provinces were mainly Zanu PF strongholds but because of factionalism and Mujuru's sympathizers, she still holds a lot of support in these selected provinces. Mujuru is penetrating urban areas. Her main challenge is that she has been changing political outfits, she lacks principles in politics, today she says this, and tomorrow she has another position. Her recent meeting with Mugabe is likely to damage her political career because most people will feel, she has been part of the project and she is still within the system. Some expressed concern that she is there to split votes. Her party is associated with violence, intimidation and defections which will affect her performance as well. She is not likely to fetch a lot of votes.

New Patriotic Front

This new political outfit is mainly the G40 cabal led by Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe's wife. This group basically knows they won't get power, but their main objective is to cause confusion on voters. Don't forget that they are those who sympathized with Mugabe throughout, they benefited from agriculture inputs, food handouts, humpers, inputs, command agriculture, presidential scholarships and other things. Don't assume that everyone in Zimbabwe is aware that Mugabe is no longer the head of State, they are some people who don't even know, particularly from the rural folk. They still have Mugabe in mind. They are those who were relinquished their duties by ED when he assumed power, obvious they will join this new outfit. They are those from the CIO who were expelled by ED as well, they are likely to go with this group. We have a number of MPs who were expelled from parliament they will also rally behind this political outfit. ED is in a dilemma now on how to handle Mugabe, one day supposed you may even wake up and see a headline written Mugabe resigned at gun point, what are you going to do? Don't dismiss Jonathan Moyo at your own peril. They have good number of people on the ground. The bad part is that these guys have inside information on how Zanu PF operated and they will use that information to turn against ED and Lacoste faction.

Who Will Benefit From This Mess?

Most likely we are going to witness a presidential run off. The group that was going to benefit from this chaotic scenario was going to be opposition especially led by Advocate Chamisa if the group was properly constituted and organized. Either way it would be difficult for Mujuru to join hands with ED, because of bitterness, the way she was booted out of Zanu PF. However don't forget that ED has state machinery at his disposal, and time is still there he can play his cards close to his chest, and he can still maneuver the situation. If you remember very well, for Jonathan's group they simply want to make sure ED won't get a new term of office, and they want to render the whole country ungovernable, they won't benefit anything, but it is a group of disgruntled elements mend on causing confusion. Whilst they are strategically positioning themselves they will find it hard to contest or even campaign, ED will simply use corruption grenade on them, they will simply vanish silently.

Key research questions were used

1. What are people saying about the new leader?
2. Are people comfortable with the new dispensation?
3. Any hopes for the opposition?
4. Do people favour Emmerson Mnagangwa, Nelson Chamisa or Elias Mudzuri?
5. Was it necessary to have a military takeover of the Government?
6. Any reforms yet?
7. Is Mujuru an independent party or it's a shadow of Zanu PF system?
8. What do you think about the new political outfit, New Patriotic front?
9. Any signs of economic reforms?

OPINION POLL

MDC – 43.7%

ZANU PF – 27.5%

NEW PF – 21%

NPP – 7%

OTHERS – 2%

– Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo


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