Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front president Emmerson Mnangagwa is likely to win this year’s elections because the opposition is in disarray, Zimbabweans in the United States said at a panel discussion in Washington DC yesterday.
“Mnangagwa is likely to win because there is no strong opposition and there is so much confusion within the opposition parties such that Mnangagwa is the likely option for most people and is the one in power and they say that there is a lot of effort from Mnangagwa to change things. People are more receptive to that,” Linda Mujuru of the Global Press Journal told the panel according to the Voice of America.
The event was organised by the Global Press Institute and hosted by the Newseum in Washington DC.
Mujuru said that though one of the Movement for Democratic Change leaders Nelson Chamisa was attracting huge crowds at his rallies he may lose the elections because of his battle with Thokozani Khupe who now leads another faction.
“The thing is that with rallies there are people who are coming to see him talk about his political party and what he is promising people. But does that translate to a real vote and have those people registered to vote? That’s a question that needs to be answered and what we are seeing on the ground is that Mnangagwa is more organized and Chamisa has just come in after the death of Morgan Tsvangirai and we don’t know that the people that are coming will vote for him.”
Wadzanai Mhute of the New York Times said the disjointed opposition was giving Mnangagwa a win on a silver platter.
“What I am seeing on the ground like with how he is more organized and also looking at all ZANU-PF candidates have all been rolled out this week and all the primaries will be held this week and so we know who the candidates are and it looks like they know what they are doing whereas the MDC-T we don’t know who the candidates are and there seems to be infighting ..,” she said.
Charles Mutuma, executive director of the United States-based Zimbabwe Diaspora for Democracy, said the electoral environment was also tilted in favour of Mnangagwa.
“Based on the electoral environment and electoral mechanisms the situation and the environment is heavily tilted in favor of the incumbent. So, the opposition’s chances of winning are next to nothing if we do not address the unresolved issues of the government of national unity on the issue of security sector reforms, judiciary reforms and electoral reforms,” he said.
“We are heading towards a shameful election and once again a disputed election … My justification is Deputy Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi ruling out the diaspora vote. It means the election won’t be inclusive. It’s not honoring the rights of Zimbabweans to vote according to Section 67 of the Constitution and when we look at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission it’s not impartial.”
Ziyambi Ziyambi is Justice Minister.
Continued next page