How will the White City explosion affect the Zimbabwe 2018 election campaign?


President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his top lieutenants who all have a military background- Mnangagwa himself, Constantino Chiwenga, Perrance Shiri, Kembo Mohadi and Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri- have said the elections are going ahead despite the attack that narrowly missed Mnangagwa on Saturday.

Chiwenga, Mohadi and Muchinguri-Kashiri were injured in the explosion but this seems to have given them the resolved that nothing will stop the elections.

Their zeal is understood. Zimbabwe wants international endorsement through the elections to open doors for promised investment so that it can get back on its feet.

But how many other presidential candidates in a crowded field of 23 will have the guts to push through their campaigns for the next 34 days in view of the explosion?

Granted the government is planning to provide security to all the presidential candidates but will the candidates accept this? Or will it be seen as another way of opening up their campaigns to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front as it is closely linked to the country’s security establishment?

While the bombing has planted a seed of uncertainty about the polls, this could be what the perpetrators wanted – to create the feeling that the atmosphere is not conducive for elections.

This could be a catch 22 situation. But postponing the elections would, however, only prolong the suffering of the ordinary people because the current problems they are facing will continue to persist.

Tensions are likely to rise, indeed. But so far, this has been one of the most peaceful campaigns in the country’s history.

One incident should not spoil the campaign.

Of course theories and rumours have started floating but they could just be that- theories and rumours. Or are they?


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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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