CHIPINGE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has launched the campaign for his ruling party, Zanu-PF, ahead of the August 23 elections in Zimbabwe.
During the campaign launch at Mutema Secondary School in Chipinge, Mnangagwa declared that Zanu-PF will do everything necessary to retain power. He asserted that the country will remain under their control and emphasized the party’s determination to continue ruling.
Mnangagwa, accompanied by his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, called for peace, unity, and harmony throughout the election process. While addressing the crowd, he did not mention Saviour Kasukuwere, an exiled former minister and former Zanu-PF member who is now running as an independent candidate.
There are concerns within the ruling party that Kasukuwere could potentially attract Zanu-PF votes.
Mnangagwa highlighted the contributions of Zanu-PF in the country’s fight for democracy, stating that the party shed blood for the nation. He called for respect for traditional leaders and announced plans to install solar-powered boreholes for them, noting that this initiative was started a few years ago.
Zimbabwe’s upcoming general election, scheduled for August 23, will feature President Emmerson Mnangagwa facing competition from former ruling party member Saviour Kasukuwere, who was exiled after a coup six years ago.
Kasukuwere, a former high-ranking official of Zanu-PF and loyalist of the late Robert Mugabe, successfully registered as a presidential candidate alongside Mnangagwa and the main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa. The final list of confirmed candidates was yet to be announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), but these three are considered to be the front-runners in the highly anticipated polls.
The election will also involve voting for members of the Parliament and local council positions. Mnangagwa, 80, will be seeking what could be his final term in office and is expected to face a significant challenge from Chamisa, who leads the Citizens Coalition for Change.
Chamisa narrowly lost the disputed 2018 presidential election, held approximately nine months after the coup that removed Mugabe from power. Kasukuwere, one of Mugabe’s loyalists forced into exile after the coup, has returned to Zimbabwe to file his nomination papers.
While President Mnangagwa expressed satisfaction with the peaceful nomination process, concerns have been raised about irregularities in the voters’ roll and intimidation of opposition supporters. Mnangagwa has faced accusations of using repressive tactics and introducing restrictive laws to suppress opposition to his rule. However, Chamisa remains confident in his chances of victory and believes that change is imminent in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has only had two leaders since gaining independence from Britain, and the country has faced isolation from the international community due to alleged human rights violations and electoral fraud. Economic challenges, including a currency crisis, rising prices of basic commodities, and high unemployment rates, continue to be major concerns for the nation.