Bhora Musango explained


Several reports, including a cable from the United States embassy dispatched on 1 April, said President Robert Mugabe was ready to step down and hand over to Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai before the nation even knew the results of the 2008 elections presidential elections because he was so upset that his lieutenants had betrayed him in what later became known as Bhora Musango.

What was this animal? Here is what the figures say.

According to the official results, Mugabe won 1 079 730 votes against Tsvangirai’s 1 195 562. That means he was beaten.

Tsvangirai’s party won 100 seats in the House of Assembly and Mugabe’s 99 seats. In the senate Mugabe’s party won 30 seats and Tsvangirai’s 24.

But Mugabe’s MPs won more votes than Tsvangirai’s MPs. In Parliament, 1 110 649 people voted for Mugabe’s MPs and 1 041 176 voted for Tsvangirai’s MPs.

In the senate, it was obvious. Mugabe’s senators won 1 104 362 votes and Tsvangirai’s 1 035 872.

Simple logic therefore dictates that if everyone who voted for a Mugabe MP and Senator had voted for Mugabe, he would have beaten Tsvangirai.

So how did Tsvangirai end up with 1 195 562, almost 150 000 more votes than the people who voted for his legislators?

Answer Bhora Musango. Some ZANU-PF supporters voted for their local ZANU-PF legislator and then voted for Tsvangirai.

One could say, but there was a third player Simba Makoni, he could have taken some of Mugabe’s votes.

True, Makoni got 207 470 votes. Ironically this was more than the votes MDC-Mutambara got. Parliamentarians polled a total of 202 259 and senators 160 895.

Remember, these polls were harmonised. One person voting for four people-president, MP, senator and councillor at one go.

So didn’t Mugabe have a right to question the loyalty of his lieutenants?

Your thoughts.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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