Elections prove ZANU-PF is bigger than ED but Chamisa is more popular than CCC


How do we explain all this?

Mnangagwa vs ZANU PF MPs: In July, Mnangagwa’s close ally, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube, warned candidates at a rally in Kwekwe: “When results are announced, we are not going to tolerate a situation where the President gets less than the councillor or MP.”

He will be looking at the data and wondering what went wrong. But he need not look too far. Many party insiders will be whispering of “bhora musango”, where MPs sabotage their leader by urging supporters to vote for Chamisa. This is a widely held view. But there are other factors beyond this.

First, many ZANU PF MPs have a closer connection with the local base than their president. They maintain a presence there, working the ground. For example, ZANU PF’s candidate in Mbare, Martin Matinyanya, was a councillor in the area and well-known in the local markets. In Wedza South, Tino Machakaire is popular for funding local projects – and an annual music festival. Both had more votes than Mnangagwa, reflecting the trend across many other constituencies.

In contrast, their leader’s poor five-year record – and his lack of charisma – didn’t help his cause.

Secondly, Mnangagwa put his “4ED” and FAZ affiliates at the centre of his campaign, sidelining the grassroots party structures that carried him in 2018.

Chamisa vs CCC MPs: Outside court on nomination day, June 21, Chamisa told reporters: “We are a Presidential republic, and our campaign is going to be basically Presidential.”

The party’s campaigns are centred around Chamisa, whose charisma and popularity make him an easy sell, better than his MPs. His MPs have to ride on Chamisa and the party identity.

Because of many voters’ thirst to vote ZANU PF out of power, they vote for whatever CCC candidate is on the ballot. They recognise Chamisa and his party symbol. The MPs? Not so much. In constituencies where “fake” CCC candidates were fielded, their split totals often matched Chamisa’s. This showed that CCC voters didn’t really know who their “official” MP candidates were, but they knew Chamisa and the party symbol.

For Chamisa, his party depends on him. In ZANU PF, meanwhile, the president relies on his party.- NewZWire



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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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