Ignorance will cost the opposition once again
The Military factor
With the present government continuously strengthening its grip on power each passing day and second, one tends to ask! What is it that the EDM led government and Zanu Pf is over so confident that it will win the upcoming elections? With the retired Rugeje occupying a critical position in Zanu Pf which is the commissariat, which will be overseeing all issues related to the upcoming elections, it is now crystal clear that the military will be campaigning for Zanu Pf, love it or hate it, the opposition should be braced for this as it has become more clearer than before that the Zimbabwean army top brass is just an extension of Zanu Pf and to prove that those who orchestrated the coup were rewarded with good government posts including the one of the vice president. This new Zanu Pf commissariat is just like the head of army representing Zanu Pf wearing civilian clothes. The problem with the people of Zimbabwe is that we are too quick to hope and that we easily forget that the same military guys who are now in power including Rugeje, they are the one who were behind operation ‘wakavhotera pasiripo’ (you voted for the wrong person) in which opposition supporters were tortured and murdered in rural Zimbabwe such as Mutoko where the election violent was at its best. How then will the army play a part in supporting EDM? The equation is very simple the gentlemen in the barracks will be forced to vote for EDM and his murderous regime and the suffering will continue. There is nothing new hear elections won’t be free as purported by the president cause a free election will dismantle Zanu Pf out of power.
Infiltration of ZEC
Joseph Stalin wants said “the people who cast the vote’s decide nothing, the people who count the votes decide everything”. The Zimbabwe Election Commission is like ‘old wine in new bottles’. The 100 day old president and his government has managed to get rid of Justice Rita Makarau who resigned under unclear circumstances while the former election chief officer Constantine Chigwamba was also shown the exit door. With this new leadership of Justice Chigumba critical staff in office it is probably arguable that ED has brought his own winning team. With the previous elections results having been declared null and void by the MDCT because of serious irregularities, the same problems will continue as they has been no major critical changes at ZEC in terms of the secretariat that oversees the election results. Those that have been following political events in Kenya that led to the swearing in of Raila Odinga as the peoples president, will remember the nullifying of the August 8 results by the Kenya constitutional court citing many irregularities, in fact when it comes to the election management in Zimbabwe, Zanu Pf have tightened its grip on the election body thereby influencing election results that favors them. It is however of important to note that by virtue of changing of the guard at ZEC that doesn’t approve that the elections will be free actually rather the rigging fiasco will continue as in the days of Mugabe hence the body will play a pivotal role in retaining the crocodile into power again.
The Rural vote and the Traditional leaders
Bates and Block have argued in their (2009) work electoral competition and the fact that the rural population is larger thereby meaning that incumbents have power to give more priority to the interests of the rural population which is easily bought by gifts. In their research, Boone & Wahman found that while rural bias pre-dates the arrival of multi-party politics in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s, it has persisted even after opposition parties have assumed power. The persistence of rural bias after a change of the ruling party is an interesting phenomenon, which demonstrates that there are incentives for incumbents to preserve the favours towards rural constituencies. In recent years the chiefs through their gigantic spokesperson Charumbira they have declared their allegiance to Zanu Pf and with more than 50 percent of the consistency voters residing in rural areas, EDM and his government may use the traditional leaders whom were given cars recently to campaign for them.
Without doubt Nelson Chamisa will sweep majority of the votes in major cities while the NPP leader Joice Mujuru will also try and gunner some votes in Harare and Matabeleland. With the recent Facebook election pointing on Chamisa to win the upcoming election by 65 percent the people of Zimbabwe should not be fooled as this also once happened to MRT prior to (2013) elections. Emmerson Mnangagwa will be dismantled in tows but the hostility between the opposition forces will split the vote in favor of Zanu PF.While most of the election observers will be in towns Zanu Pf will take the advantage of manipulating the rural vote by means of focusing more on the outskirts than major tows towns
President Mnanagagwa has managed to consolidate state power so quick that in his first 100 days he has managed to get endorsement from SADC leaders as well as AU chairman Moussa Faki. When the two met earlier in February Faki praised the EDM government, Mnangagwa also briefed Mahamat on the peaceful political transition that took place in the southern African country last year. A News Day report quoted Mahammad as saying that Africa was “satisfied that the transition was peaceful”.In politics these engagements are critical as these regional bodies play a pivotal roles in endorsing whatever government that tries to maintain peace. While the president was recently in DRC It is however arguable that the crocodile has managed to charm SADC leaders with his offensive style of leadership.
Knowledge Hakata is a political analyst who can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org