Taking voters for granted

Sinqobile Tessa
IN THE RACE: Saviour Kasukuwere

‘I only fear for the future of the country if we do nothing’.

This was declared by exiled former cabinet minister, Savior Kasukuwere as he announced his interests to contest in the presidential race on Augusts 23.

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The thought that immediately came to mind was that ‘this guy thinks people forget’.

His name might be Savior but he surely cannot want to be the savior of Zimbos now.

His history as a politician is tainted considering that he is accused of looting, corruption, torture and killing opponents especially in his home province of Mashonaland Central.

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Kasukuwere, 52, who is also Zanu PF’s former political commissar and a close ally of the late former President Robert Mugabe, lives in self imposed exile in South Africa.

In his heydays as commissar and cabinet minister, he was seen as a ruthless and untouchable being who seemed more concerned about power and amassing wealth than the plight of his people.

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He had built himself an imposing multi-million dollar mansion in one of Harare’s leafy suburbs.

Now that he is no longer ‘eating’, he wants to create an impression that he has the welfare of the masses at heart.

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Of course politicians lie and have a tendency to take people for granted but I think he is in for a big surprise if he thinks he will win people’s heart over so fast.

The only thing that his entry into the presidential race will do, is split a few votes of the ruling party.

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Other former members of Zanu PF have formed their own parties before but never garnered any meaningful votes and I am sure that’s exactly what will happen again this time around.

I also see Kasukuwere getting a few votes from Mugabe loyalists but otherwise the race is between President Emerson Mngangagwa and opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.

Of course ZanuPF must be afraid that votes will be split and that it could work in the favour of the opposition.

But then again this also depends on whether Kasukuwere will not be arrested upon his return to the country.

When Mugabe was kicked out of power, the army said it was also targeting criminals who had surrounded him, and Kasukuwere was one of those people targeted hence living in exile.

In his interview with local ZimLive media, he was quoted saying; “I don’t fear jail, I don’t fear death,” meaning that he is fully aware of what might happen if he comes back home.

Meanwhile the Patriotic Bill was passed last week.

It is meant to, among other things punish citizens who, ‘Willfully damage the sovereignty and national interests of Zimbabwe’.

The bill has been widely condemned as it is viewed as targeting the opposition and government critics ahead of the general elections.

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