Mnangagwa seizes Covid19 as a 2023 campaign opportunity

Academic Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes :

ED consolidates through Covid – 19 ahead of 2023

Covid – 19 pandemic will be used by many ruling Governments for political expediency particularly those facing legitimacy issues and electoral challenges in their respective countries. What I can assure you is that ED is now ahead of the game, and this can lead to a whitewash victory ahead of 2023 debacle.

ED was facing serious political challenge on the ground, and the lockdown experience and the covid – 19 pandemic has led to Zanu PF and ED to regroup and restrategize on the ground, and this had nothing more to do with health scare. Whilst Covid – 19 is real, but to Zanu PF, it is more to a political chase, rather game, and this will create amble time to consolidate power through political pressures and within Zanu PF itself.

Basically what this means is that for them Covid – 19 has given them enough time to breath fresh air on the political space, and focus more on strategic intelligence. I have always reiterated that whilst opposition has what they call brands on their side, they lack strategic intelligence to deal with Zanu PF.

Zanu PF is good at strategy, though many people have dismissed my assertions that it’s all about rigging nothing else, I still stand on the solid ground, alluding the same fact of saying ruling Zanu PF is far ahead of the opposition, and I’m afraid to say they are done with 2023.

Let me reiterate this fact, Zanu PF will not loose elections consecutively, or I would rather simplify this by saying they won’t go on the edge twice, and check 2000 , 2002, 2008 & 2013. You have to make a strong analysis on 2008 & 2013. I for see the 2013 scenario taking place in 2023, where opposition may fail to claim rigging and it will be difficult to trace. Facts below :

One can only occupy State House, through political strategies. Look at the structures that have been demolished, and the strategy is we are doing it for the sake of avoiding the spread of Covid – 19, but then whose support base is that? Look at Mbare, Highfields, Kambuzuma, Glen View etc, these are strongholds for who? I for see a situation where many people will flood to rural areas due to economic pressures. The local Government will simply justify their actions.

Let’s go to the feeding scheme, and the 519 Million cushion allowances which Muthuli Ncube purportedly to have released from treasury. Which urban areas received such donations, and we are almost three days away from winding up on the five week lockdown restrictions.

The ruling party will simply tell you we identified areas that were in need of aid, and these were Mash west, Mash East, Muzarabani, Magunje, Mat North, Mat South and Midlands particularly the rural set up. Rural populace constitutes of at least 68% of the ruling party supporters.

Their support base is intact. Their worry is not Presidency, and they will always find a way to retain it, their biggest worry is parliamentary 2/3 Majority, which they are working on to ensure it’s maintained. If you claim rigging at Presidential level, they will simply show you the two thirds Majority which justifies their electoral victory.

The first lady is on countrywide tour , particularly rural areas to strengthen ED support base ahead of 2023, using her Angels of Hope Foundation. The First Lady Angel of Hope Foundation is gaining political mileage and support base which will contribute to ED’ s victory.

What you need to take into account is the fact that politics is about the stomach, not regalia or huge support base. Whilst numbers are important and I agree on that, but the stomach factor is more important. You put food on the table for someone, that individual will never forget you. You give someone a bag of maize, two litre cooking oil, no matter how small the quantities are, they will register in mind that this person stood in for me during moments of distress. Amai Mnangagwa’ s Angel of Hope is making strategic political inroads in all unentered areas, and come 2023 it will be game over.

Yes opposition is doing some donations, but who is doing the media work to show the political expediency? Few days ago, I read that Advocate Nelson Chamisa gave some few donations in Gweru, Bulawayo and other places, how much did the information travel? Was it restricted to social media only? Visibility is an important tool in politics.

If you look at the political gestures, during the bulletin hours, State House functions, you can easily tell the ruling party is ahead of the game, and it is more to do with strategic politics and power consolidation. This will also depend on how they will handle the whole Covid – 19 pandemic saga. To them it’s not about your perceptions, but it’s all about political strategies.

There is a de – link between political strategies and strategic intelligence within the opposition. I will agree with you, Nelson Chamisa is a brand on it’s on, and it’s not his duty to multiply votes. Opposition must turn the Chamisa brand into a political dividend. This is where some people get it wrong, they feel a Presidential candidate must do everything to win support base, it’s the duty of the human resource, strategic thinkers, think tanks, structures to turn the brand into a political dividend. People are no longer worried about rallies these days, what are you offering them is the question?. Whilst I agree with you that political campaigns must be centred on development, empowerment, but ruling party will always thrive on patronage and the gaps created in politics and reality on the ground.

Let me conclude by saying, the ruling party will always play around mathematically with political space, feed the space with assumptions, conspiracies and theories like ED is going before 2023, ED will not last, there is infighting between Chiwenga and ED, military says this, Sakunda this and that, whilst on the ground the machinery is united and campaigning.

Energy resorted to fight Mwonzora and team should be the one that should be used to come up with strategic intelligence. The energy which was used to fight for positions at congress level should be diverted for political expediency.

Today you have Mwonzora saga, come 2023 another drama will rise, come 2026 another drama will rise, drama will go on and go on, and they will continue to be at the helm of the country.

You are busy on social media insulting each other, whilst the game is being played on the ground. Social media does not vote, votes are counted in the ballot box.

Your eyes must be focused on the game !!!

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is a Policy Advisor and Researcher and he can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

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