Opposition faces tough 2018 polls

HARARE - There is growing consensus among political analysts that the country’s opposition will find it difficult to defeat President Robert Mugabe and his deeply-divided Zanu PF in next year’s much-awaited national elections.

Working against the prospects of an opposition victory are the continuing discord among opposition leaders on who should lead the mooted electoral alliance and failure to put enough pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to introduce sweeping reforms which would make the electoral field level.

“Coalition or no coalition, the opposition will emerge second best. I have no illusions on who will emerge victorious. Maybe you can debate about 2023, not 2018. Zanu PF has already won.

“The opposition, with a big tent coalition, the best it can achieve is second best and it should work for that to prevent Zanu PF winning two thirds majority.

“Zanu PF has a super majority and it can do whatever it wants because of the sheer number it has in Parliament and it is for that reason it will win,” University of Zimbabwe politics expert, Eldred Masunungure told the Daily News.

Masunungure also has doubts on the prospect of the opposition participating in the elections as a single bloc — referring to the conflicting signals and continuing disagreements on who should lead the grand coalition — by the MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai and National Peoples Party leader, Joice Mujuru.

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. There is a lot of wishful thinking among some Zimbabweans. The Afrobarometer (a survey which included Masunungure) showed that a large majority, including some in Zanu PF, would like to see a coalition but we know the role of egoism in and out of politics.

“(Joice) Mujuru was in government for 34 years and now you want her to be number two again, no ways. She was expelled because she had presidential ambitions and those in the MDC are saying our leader is the face of the opposition. He has fought dictatorship and bears the scars and also beat Zanu PF and on that basis, he has credentials.

“Those are hardened positions, each of the two parties has followers who are rooting for their leader to lead that is why you see MoUs (memoranda of understanding) being shredded, both leaders are signing their separate deals with other parties and so the possibility of a grand coalition is very remote. We may have this coalition project taking off but it will not fly high or far and I think it will collapse on egoism and on who gets what,” said Masunungure.

A large cross-section of Zimbabweans, including political analysts have consistently said a united opposition fighting with one purpose could finally bring an end to Mugabe and Zanu PF’s long rule in next year’s elections.

But both Tsvangirai and Mujuru, who are seen as the likely politicians to drive the suggested coalition, have been sending conflicting signals in developments which analysts say could confuse and drive away voters.

“Yes the odds are against the opposition given challenges that include delay in finalising the grand coalition, absence of electoral reforms, violence that is on the increase and an unprofessional and dependent electoral management body.

“But it is still possible for the opposition to wrestle power from Zanu PF. Time is running out and they must urgently finalise the grand coalition and collectively push Zec to look into challenges such as few registration centres in urban centres and issues surrounding proof of residence requirements,” civic leader and political analyst, Gladys Hlatywayo said.

“Disagreements over modalities of a coalition are now stalling progress on a concerted effort to strategise and implement a counter to Zanu PF's menu of manipulation and mobilise voters.

“The opposition may still win the election but what is means is that they have to work around the clock.

There is no alternative to a coalition unfortunately. The opposition stands a better chance with one,” added Hlatywayo.

Southern Africa senior consultant for the International Crisis group, Piers Pigou told the Daily News that the opposition had a lot of work to do before it could think of defeating Mugabe and Zanu PF next year.

“Current electoral conditions do not lend to prospects of a free and fair election, with or without a coherent opposition. The actions of government and Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission (Zec) are the key determinants in that regard.

“In terms of AU and Sadc election standards, they are clearly wanting on a number of fronts.

“It is their responsibility to ensure these problems are remedied in good time to ensure the conditions for inclusive elections and the processes employed result in a legitimate outcome that will enhance prospects for sustainable recovery. I would concur with Eldred (Masunungure) that the prospects of opposition success look bleak for a number of reasons,” Pigou told the Daily News.

Comments (7)

lets only wait& see.No one knows exactly what is the mind of the electorate,n unexpected outcome may happen,however removing the Tsvangirai hegemony will b the first step towards the success & eventual winning of the election by the proposed coalition.Only free & independent coalition;free of personality cults,with clear inputs of vision& strategy may hv a chance of convincing the electorate in the opposition camp-that they might get some difference,otherwise many don't turn up for the elections,expecting the same Tsvangirai failure.But people can b always b mobilized for n thing with vision,purpose & unity & respond to achieve success

addmore gudo - 24 July 2017

Of course success at short notice

addmore gudo - 24 July 2017

Inini hangu I think Coalition and rigging means the same some how.The majority vote will lose and this I a recipe for disaster.Do it I tel u

I&i - 24 July 2017

The Puppet quisling sell-out party's sell by date has since expired in 2013.... Only ZANU P.F. is ordained by our Creator, the Almighty God to rule forever. Zanu P.F. has got people centered policies which are in sync with the Majority. MDC-T and Tsvangirai and his cohorts have got grotesque policies against the electorate, for instance, the sanctions issue which is affecting everyone regardless of political affiliation. Tsvangirai to rule MaZimbabwe, Nehanda forbid!

ivhukuvanhu chete chete - 24 July 2017

Chokwadi nge ichi....no coalition or coalition ......elections in zimbabwe are not transparent opposition must be aware of this.....ZEC thieves are the only hope zanu pf....people of zimbabwe are not fool...who can vote for zanu pf after failling people for 38 years.never never never ever 100000000000000000000000000 times under a free and fear can win a feye feya vote.....this they think they can win even 20% of the vote....feya feya......if they can get 20% Tsvangira will be asked to donate another 20% and zanu pf will remain at 40% and morgon will still be a president with 60% of the free vote....or just disburb ZEC ....TODAY TOMMORROW THY WILL ASK AGAIN FOR A UNIT GVT. Zanu pf is out date axpired . WAKURU WAYO WANA MUJURU WAKAISIYA ,,MA WAR VET ....ZVIDZA ZVAKAISIYA KKKKKKKK

dofo - 24 July 2017

Joice Mujuru is the right person to lead the coalition or Madam President go it alone we cant suffer another humiliation bkoz of the MDC and their leader

Rex Nhongo - 25 July 2017

TRUST ME ZANU PF ALREADY WON THE ELECTIONS. WHY? BE CAUSE THE ANNOUNCE THE ELECTIONS, OUR VOTES DOES'NT COUNT. they control everything, the state, army, press,ZEC everything.

Ano - 25 July 2017

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