Running scared?

Sinqobile Tessa

Panic at the top as election build-up takes a twist

President Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to be quaking in his boots about the forthcoming general elections.

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Otherwise why else would they seek to block former Zanu PF political commissar, member of parliament and cabinet minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, from contesting?

A Zanu PF activist, Lovedale Mangwana, filed an urgent High Court application on Monday challenging Kasukuwere’s nomination as a presidential candidate on the basis that he has not been residing in the country for the last 18 months.

Mangwana is obviously acting on instructions and it won’t come as a surprise if he wins the case, which was set for hearing when this column had already gone to bed.

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Kasukuwere is a major threat to Zanu-PF as he is likely to divide party voters, which might help opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, emerge the ultimate winner.

The former Zanu PF big fish was a key member of the late ex-leader, President Robert Mugabe’s last cabinet. He is living in self-imposed exile in South Africa after fleeing Zimbabwe at the height of the 2017 coup, which led to Mugabe’s downfall.

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One thing for certain is that there are thousands of Mugabe loyalists, especially in Mashonaland provinces, which was his major stronghold. They are still bitter about how Mugabe was kicked out of power and these are the people who are likely to vote for Kasukuwere, just to spite Mnangagwa.

It has also become clear that the former is closely working with other past influential people in the party who were close to Mugabe, and I guess that’s what’s causing sleepless nights for the current regime.

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But, again, since they have the means, Mangwana might win his case and that will be the end of Kasukuwere’s presidential bid.

Or if he is not blocked, he will be arrested upon arrival in the country as the powers-that-currently-be have said he faces arrest for abuse of office.

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Whatever the case, though, the fact that he openly expressed interest to challenge Mnangagwa will still have implications as there could be behind the scenes campaigns to frustrate the regime.

Interesting times lie ahead as this is promising to be quite an exciting and explosive election; as they say on social media, we are ready with our popcorn to watch all the drama unfold.

Meanwhile, campaigning is now in full swing and we are being promised heaven and earth by the major parties. Interesting how Zanu PF is promising to fix the economy when they are clearly failing to do so now, but well, politics will always be politics!

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