HARARE - Former Zanu PF bigwig, Temba Mliswa, has predicted that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will “once again win the 2018 elections” — even if he does not reach an electoral pact with former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
At the same time, and with Zanu PF drowning from its seemingly-unstoppable factional and succession wars, Tsvangirai himself is taking advantage of the mindless bloodletting in the governing party, traversing its former strongholds around the country with little interruption.
MDC sources told the Daily News yesterday that with Zanu PF “completely consumed” by its deadly infighting, pitting embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters against the party’s Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40), the opposition was at the moment relatively free to campaign as and where it wished.
“President Tsvangirai is a grassroots mobiliser. He is presently touring the nation to know the problems affecting people in different parts of the country.
“The anger against Mugabe’s misrule is growing by each day, as everyone is suffering,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said.
The MDC president — who has so far been to Masvingo, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland, where he has addressed huge rallies — will this week take his nationwide tour to the politically-volatile province of Mashonaland East, where he has previously been denied access to his supporters by Zanu PF thugs.
He is set to hold rallies at Kotwa Growth Point in Mudzi (Mutoko), Zaire Business Centre in Wedza, and Sadza Growth Point in Chikomba District, before proceeding to Chambara Business Centre in Chivhu.
On his part, former Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West, Mliswa, told the Daily News that Tsvangirai was currently having it his way in areas that were hitherto seen as Mugabe’s fortresses because war veterans who used to back the nonagenarian were angry that they had been badly let down by him.
“The only people who could stop Tsvangirai are war veterans and all indications are that Tsvangirai will win the elections again in 2018 without the need for a coalition with Mujuru’s People First,” Mliswa said.
He added that without war veterans campaigning for Mugabe, Zanu PF had no capacity to do so “and that will translate to a peaceful election, as the margin of terror that the ruling party has been depending on will disappear”.
The former Hurungwe West legislator also said the former freedom fighters’ political allegiance was now shared among Mujuru, Mnangagwa and the G40 camp — a situation which he said made it difficult for them to be a factor in the 2018 elections.
Mliswa said the other factor that would most likely work in Tsvangirai’s favour was the fact that Mujuru and her allies had “a tainted past and will have difficulty in convincing the electorate that they have repented”.
“If they had resigned like what Nkosana Moyo and Nathan Shamuyarira did, they would have no problems getting people behind them. Worse still for them, people out there still sympathise with Tsvangirai that he was not given the chance to take power when he won elections in 2008,” he said.
Since Zanu PF controversially retained power in 2013, the country has been on a downward spiral, with the economy bleeding hundreds of thousands of badly-needed jobs and social service delivery hitting an all-time low.