This year’s election is going to be lit!
I know this jargon is not appropriate for the mainstream media but I just had to use it as it seems to rightly capture how most people view the upcoming elections which are promising to be a watershed.
For the first time in 38 years, Zimbabwe will go to the polls without former president’s Robert Mugabe portrait on the ballot paper and for the first time in 18 years, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will have a new face following the death of its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
And again for the first time since Independence in 1980, Zanu PF goes to the polls with Mugabe on the other side that is on the opposition side.
And for the first time, Zimbabweans will get a chance to make a choice between the old and the young.
Zanu PF’s president Emmerson Mnangangwa (76) will be battling it out with the interim MDC leader Nelson Chamisa who is 40 years old.
Of course there are other political parties but the battle worth talking about is between these two parties.
Of course there is the New Patriotic Front (NPF) which is led by a former Zanu PF big fish, Retired Brigadier General, Ambrose Mutinhiri which has been endorsed by Mugabe but it’s still early to see if it will have much impact other than shaking Mnangangwa’s support base.
What is even more interesting is that the elections body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission revealed that 60 percent of the 5.3 million people who have registered to vote are aged been 18 and 40.
This seems to excite the opposition as they feel the MDC has already bagged victory, their confidence based on the fact that the young will obviously vote for their peer.
But while the MDC could have stood a better chance of victory considering that some disgruntled Zanu PF members who are not happy with Mugabe’s ouster would have cast their vote for the opposition to spite Mngangangwa, its biggest undoing is the in-fighting currently going on, which is threatening to tear the party apart.
Even at Tsvangirai’s burial service, party members failed to unite for the sake of their late founding leader and to this day, violence continues as factions fight over the leadership of the party.
And while they fight, Zanu PF members and Mnangagwa in particular is no doubt silently praying for more drama and subsequent split of the party as that will up his chances of winning.
His biggest challenge though as already indicated is that he is also leading a fractured Zanu PF as not all people in the party have his back.
As already mentioned, some Mugabe loyalists, who will not openly defect to the NPF, will seek revenge by throwing spanners in his works.
In other news, Mnangangwa clocked 100 days in office last week Monday with no notable change in the country’s economy as he had promised.
Cash crisis seems far from over while food prices have not been decreased despite pledges to engage captains of industry for much lower, affordable prices.
Mnangagwa has of course been a subject of jokes and memes on social media with people mocking him for being more concerned with his scarf (which now seems to be his signature accessory) than bringing real change and turning around the economy.