Mnangagwa spokesman says coming elections are not about electing a president but assessing him

George Charamba
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President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba today said next month’s elections are about confirming Mnangagwa as president not to choose him.

In an article in the Herald today Charamba said the elections are “a ballot-mediated pronouncement and confirmation that what started in the portentous month of November 2017, must now be placed onto a democratic plinth, so it ‘flowers’ into a full-blown Second Republic”.

They are “a nod and an endorsement that a post-Land Reform Programme Zimbabwe must now engage and re-engage in order to belong once more, and of course to recover, grow and develop its economy yet again.”

He said foreign policy today shapes Zimbabwe’s domestic politics, politics, policies and prospects like never before which is why President Mnangagwa has had to be his foremost diplomat.

“Whatever the opposition might think, Zimbabwe’s polls are not about looking for a president; they are about assessing him.

“The growing irritability in the opposition – itself a confirmation of how right the world is on the question of Zimbabwe’s national leadership – arises from this hard fact which the opposition was least prepared for,” he said.

“For the West, it is no longer about the outcome of the polls. They know it. It is about the electoral process which must meet most, if not all, international standards, thereby paving the way for substantive re-engagement.”

Charamba was echoing similar sentiments by Mnangagwa’s deputy Constantino Chiwenga who said the elections are about completing the struggle that started in November last year.

Chiwenga’s statement is however being viewed as intimidation especially after a senior Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front official Terrence Mukupe said the military did not remove Mugabe to let someone else take over.

Former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s first husband, Stanley Goreraza said Mnangagwa would not have called the elections unless he had been assured he is going to win.

Although a recent poll showed Mnangagwa with a narrow lead over main contender Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, most people believe there will be no re-run because this will be a disaster.

Former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, in trying to persuade National Patriotic Front candidate Ambrose Mutinhiri to step down to give way to Chamisa said: “General, you and I know that a run-off where one of the contestants is an incumbent who rose through a military coup would be a recipe for disaster that would make 2008 pale into insignificance. We will die like flies this time.”

Twenty-three candidates are contesting for president on 30 July and candidates who wish to withdraw from the elections have been given until the end of day today to do so.