President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with First Lady Grace Amai at a ZANU-PF rally. The nation of Zimbabwe celebrated 29 years of national independence on April 18, 2009., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Zanu-PF headed for victory: UK paper
Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00
Herbert Zharare Political Editor
THE British establishment paper, the Guardian, has predicted that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF will romp to victory in harmonised elections set to be held by June 29 this year.
The paper said Zanu-PF would ride on President Mugabe’s great popularity to seal victory in the harmonised elections. In a piece dated Tuesday March 26 2013 and titled ‘Even Zimbabwe’s constitution waits for Mugabe to pass the baton, or pass away’ the Guardian’s writer Simon Allison said Zanu-PF was managing its politics well, way ahead of the MDC-T and other opposition parties.
“The likely scenario is that Zanu-PF will ride the wave of Mugabe’s still great popularity to earn another win in the upcoming elections (or, at the very least, get enough genuine votes to ensure that not too much dodgy business is needed to get him across the line).
“Once he’s installed in office, the party can manage the issue of succession at its leisure,’’ Allison said.
His projection dovetails with National Constitutional Assembly chairman Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s projections issued the same during a discussion forum at Sapes Trust in Harare where he said Zanu-PF was headed victory in the harmonised elections basing on referendum voting patterns that saw Zanu-PF strongholds deliver the Yes Vote.
Said Prof Madhuku; “My impression was that most votes were Zanu-PF until I heard Dr (Ibbo) Mandaza saying Tendai (Biti) thinks they were MDC-T.
“It is in the rural areas where votes matter, especially in Mashonaland East province, in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West. In Harare, there will be a low voter turnout because some people will not be registered while rural areas will maintain a high voter turnout.
“In the MDC-T strongholds there was so much resistance (at the referendum), especially in Matabeleland provinces. I did not also hear of people who got to the polling station and said they wanted their vote to be cast on Tsvangirai, but it was very common to hear people saying they wanted their vote to be cast on President Mugabe.”
Several recent surveys have also pointed to a Zanu-PF victory a development that analysts say accounts for the MDC-T’s bid to delay the polls to try to put its house in order.
In September last year, the UK-based pro-MDC-T group, Zimbabwe Vigil, said the MDC-T was likely to lose the forthcoming harmonised elections because of rampant corruption within its top leadership among other issues.
The party has performed dismally in local government matters managed by its councillors and mayors.
Zimbabwe Vigil’s damning assessment of MDC-T’s electoral chances came hard on the heels of two unflattering surveys by the US-based group, Freedom House and Afro barometer that said President Mugabe and Zanu-PF would win polls ahead of Mr Tsvangirai and the MDC-T.
The Freedom House survey, that was released in August, said support for the MDC-T had fallen from 38 percent in 2010 to 20 percent this year while support for Zanu - PF grew to 31 percent from 17 percent, over the same period.
The survey also said that President Mugabe would command the support of 31 percent of voters in a presidential election, compared to 19 percent for Mr Tsvangirai.
The survey said Zanu-PF had clear programmes such as the land reform and other empowerment programmes to sell to the electorate while the “Change” mantra pushed by MDC-T had lost steam.
The Afro barometer survey, entitled “Voting Intentions in Zimbabwe: A Margin of Terror?”, also put Zanu-PF ahead of MDC-T, but said another coalition government was likely.
Another survey carried out later in the year, in November, by the Mass Public Opinion Institute and released in February this year said Zanu-PF would win the parliamentary elections with 33 percent of the vote to 32 percent for the MDC-T?