By Lloyd Takawira
Two years to 2023, electioneering in Zimbabwe seems to have gripped the country as tension is once again simmering with politicians across the political divide positioning themselves for the harmonized elections.
One would expect development to hog the country’s political space, however for Zimbabwe it seems election fever starts when the other election ends.
The recent week in Politics
The week has seen, the governing Zanu PF party youth wing and the women wing embarking on mobilization tours across the country with it’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa capitalizing on every official platform to stamp his party authority.
Yesterday Zanu PF party youth was in Matebeleland South Insiza District ,under it’s #Targeting5millionVotes campaign.
The Indaba was attended by the youth league leadership, AAG National Executive Members. As usual the event was not short of drama as defectives were paraded. ZANU PF Youth League welcomed five who joined the Party, two from the National Patriotic Front (NPF), two from the MDC and one independent Councillor Shepherd Juta.
For the opposition, it’s Transform Zimbabwe president Mr Jacob Ngarivhume who has caught the political space by storm with his clean up campaigns. For some the man’s generosity for cleanliness has been misconstrued as positioning himself for political office come 2023.
Not to be outdone the MDC Alliance has launched it’s Tsvaira / clean up a program which analysts and observers argue was a reactionary move to occupy the space and limelight which Ngarivhume seemed to have gained.
The Tsvaira clean up campaign program was launched in Mabvuku with Nelson Chamisa bringing the high density surburb to a standstill. According to Chamisa it’s his party’s responsibility to maintain cleanliness in the cities despite themselves losing several seats to recalls.
The MDC-Alliance youth wing has also been embarking on a register to vote campaign.
Aside from the contentious December congress , the court reconstituted MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora is also embarking what they are calling “gap fill-in exercises”. Positioning themselves as the certified opposition, the party has said it is already ready for 2023.
A little known child on the political space Patriotic Zimbabweans led by Charles Mutama is also on the ground launching party structures . The party says it is ready to un-seat the governing Zanu PF party.
The Dirtier Zimbabwean Politics
For rights groups, the political climate is already toxic and can degenerate into violence as we move towards 2023.
It’s the Zanu PF party youth who at the unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda statue were toyi-toying in the central business district chanting slogans denouncing the opposition and threatening violence against opposition supporters and their leader Chamisa.
One Zanu PF supporter with a penchant for violence, has been on record boasting that his party is the grandmaster of violence.
Dramatic has been the mafia style in which youths in motorbikes invaded business man and war veteran Freddy Mutanda farm in Mutorashanga Mashonaland West province.
For the Zanu PF party youth, Mutanda’s crime is supporting a court challenge on Malaba’s stay in office as Chief Justice. However, there have been reports of factional fights with reports alleging that Mutanda is vice president Constantino Chiwenga’s proxy hence the youths are out in full force to thwart Chiwenga’s diplomacy on Malaba and Mnangagwa’ leadership.
For the opposition, a bloodbath in the MDC Alliance youth assembly has reportedly consumed the leadership with youth secretary Gift Siziba and Chairman Obey Sithole reported to have fallen out .
Analyst and Observers
Political analyst Frank Chauke believe, Zimbabwe need to dissuade itself from the ever political campaigning if we are to develop.
“Zimbabwe has been in election mode for a long time. If this country is to develop we need to shelve elections for some seven good years. As things stand now we are headed for a violent pre and post election time.”
Rights activist, Don Mavhudzi said Zimbabweans expected a breather between 2018 and 2023 however it has always been politics at the expense of development.
“How can we develop if we are always in election mode from 2018 up today we are in political tension . We need to right size our politics which is very perilous . We have fraudsters as leaders hence they create conducive environment for chaos in the political space to loot and steal. I second Ben Manyenyeni call for seven non election years”
Pulling his cart full of bananas in the central business district Harare, 34 year old Tawanda Mushangwe believes Zimbabwe is politically cursed.
“I think as Zimbabwe we are politically cursed.”
Asked what he meant by Zimbabwe being politically cursed , the jocular Mushambe said: ” If you look at the politicians, and the drive to wooe votes at the expense of development you understand my point”
Mushambe also suggested that, politicians stop positioning themselves for office before development .
“As they come to us for votes let’s ask them what have you done. However, as people we have not been able to ask politicians those questions.”
Zimbabwe goes to the polls in 2023, an election which local rights organizations believe could be violent as political leaders seem to be failing to reign in supporters.