Mnangagwa pledges economic revival as election campaign kicks off




Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks at the handover of a fleet of medical emergency helicopters received from the Russian State Corporation, Rostec, at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 18, 2023. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo//File Photo

CHIPINGE – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has launched his bid for a second five-year term, vowing to do whatever it takes to remain in power.

The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for August 23, are expected to be contested between Mnangagwa of the ZANU-PF party and Nelson Chamisa, a pastor and lawyer representing the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The country is currently facing a severe economic crisis, characterized by high inflation and a significant decline in the value of the currency. Mnangagwa addressed his rural support base, promising infrastructure development and stating that ZANU-PF would continue to govern Zimbabwe while other parties split apart. He emphasized the party’s role in fighting for democracy and expressed determination to maintain their position of power.

Mnangagwa, who came to power in a coup in 2017, initially received praise for his pragmatic leadership style. However, in the 2018 elections, he narrowly won against Chamisa, who remains a strong challenger in the upcoming election. The economic crisis is a major concern for voters, with the value of the currency plummeting and basic commodities becoming increasingly expensive.

While the CCC enjoys support in urban areas, ZANU-PF has a significant following in rural regions. Mnangagwa highlighted the government’s efforts in infrastructure development, power generation, and the growth of the mining sector. He mentioned the installation of solar boreholes in every village across the country as part of their development initiatives.

Mnangagwa faces competition from 10 other presidential candidates, with criticisms of his government’s closure of democratic space following the passing of the Patriotic Bill, which is seen as limiting criticism of the state. Zimbabwe has faced economic challenges for over two decades, primarily attributed to land seizures under former President Robert Mugabe, which led to an economic crisis in the country.




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