Mugabe link could cost Chamisa votes

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“I have been a long-time supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change but I have just changed my mind because for all I know, I could be voting for Mugabe to come back maybe even as vice-president,” said a man from the Sanyati area.

He appeared to be joking but it turned out that he was serious.

“I have been a supporter of the MDC since its inception and was glad that we got rid of Mugabe but all of a sudden I hear that Mugabe is now backing Chamisa. Why?” he queried.

“I can no longer trust Chamisa because after fighting for years to get rid of Mugabe he could make Mugabe his vice-president. That is a risk I am not prepared to take so I might as well support Mnangagwa because he is good for business and will not bring Mugabe back.”

It is not yet clear how many people share this sentiment but news that the National Patriotic Front which is reportedly financed by former President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, and calls by one of her former top lieutenants Jonathan Moyo to back Chamisa, could be bad news for Chamisa.

The MDC Alliance leader has on several occasions publicly stated that he can beat Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa hands down any time.

He even said if Mnangagwa polls more than five prevent of the vote he will give him his sister as a wife which he later explained was merely to emphasize that Mnangagwa would not beat him.

Chamisa already heads an Alliance of seven political parties and they are currently said to be failing to agree on the candidates to contest the elections.

The Nomination Court to accept candidates sits next Thursday.

Initially the parties were allocated seats with Chamisa’s MDCT-T getting 114 of the 210 seats.

Though the Alliance was forged when Morgan Tsvangirai was still leader of the party, this was one of the reasons why Thokozani Khupe, one of Tsvangirai’s deputies, crossed heads with her boss.

She argued that the party did not need to go into an alliance with weak opposition parties which only had leaders but no followers because the MDC-T could go it alone and beat ZANU-PF.

Her argument was based on the fact that the MDC-T beat ZANU-PF squarely in the 2008 elections when it won 100 seats against ZANU-PF’s 99.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube (Arthur Mutambara at the time) won only 10 seats but Tsvangirai was now allocating it 30 seats while newly formed parties like the Zimbabwe People First and Transform Zimbabwe were allocated seats when no one really knew their support base.

Besides, Chamisa has also stated that he has invited Joice Mujuru and Dumiso Dabengwa to join him making people wonder why he needs all these people if he can beat Mnangagwa on his own.

Jonathan Moyo, who is all out to get rid of Mnangagwa and his “junta”, has called for a grand national union on several occasions.

While on paper it sounds a grand idea, the question is, how will the opposition, if it wins, share the spoils?

The Insider