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The man who will capitalise on
voter apathy

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by Nevanji Madanhire

Leader of Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) Robert Howard Chapman is a fascinating man.
Sharp and erudite, he has brought an interesting perspective to Zimbabwean politics. He
has taken out the toxicity that has characterised our politics in the past two decades
or so. He wishes to capitalise on the apathy that has pervaded every election in the
recent past. The average voter turnout has been about 35%.

“We looked at data to say would it be favourable if I ran, would people accept that? Then
the second side of it was to also look and say was there a window for us to
participate,” he says in his Conversation with Trevor.

“There was an opportunity of acceptance, and then the bigger tell-tale sign was this data
showed that there was huge voter apathy, in fact that group was larger than each of the
parties individually.”

The window is the 65% of people who never vote mainly because they just don’t see a
candidate who would change their lives.

Few politicians have ever thought that way. This has made every electoral contest a fight
to wring voters from the opposing party. Indeed we have seen Zanu PF display what they
say are people who have defected from the opposition while the opposition itself also
prides itself in attracting new members from other parties.

He says his project is stands on three pillars: Prosperity, Justice and Modernization.
It will be driven by the 80/20 principle. He says he has identified the vital 20% around
which he will build his movement around.

The DUZ is not something he just dreamed up.  “The first thing we did, I think it was
around April 2021, we consulted some well-respected individuals in politics and said how
do we frame this? They said you need three things; you need a constitution, you need a
code of conduct, and you need to know who you are so people can relate to you.”

This is more than other important parties have done; the Citizen Coalition for Change
(CCC), for example, still does not have a constitution but is facing an election in less
than six months’ time. Its code of conduct is unknown. It has a following only due to
its leader’s charisma. Zanu PF too is grinding on because of its history. This is the
source of the toxicity that’s seen in Zimbabwean politics.

“My grandfather told me that if a pig invites you into the mud for a fight and you
accept, the pig will enjoy the fight.”

This describes precisely what happens in our politics. The electorate is polarised and
violent. We are all too familiar with the “jecha” , “faka pressure” and “kurakasha”
politics. Chapman wishes to bring cleaner politics.

But is Chapman really grounded on the terrain he is treading? Asked to give an example of
the poverty he says he grew up in, he says: “We didn’t have a car. We didn’t have a
telephone, so if one of my relatives phoned from abroad, grandma would run several
houses down the road to take the call.” Really?

Also, Chapman needs to talk to bankers and business to better understand the impact of
sanctions on the country. The land issue is hugely important and Chapman needs to
acquaint himself with how to make land bankable and return the agricultural sector to
its glory days.

We are not persuaded that Chapman and DUZ have given themselves enough time to have a
chance at victory at the 2023 polls but we are ready to be surprised. All in all, what a
breath of fresh air.

In Conversation with Robert Chapman

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“I love my country.I would not say l have lived if l didn’t work hard to change the
narrative or political system in my country,” says Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ)
2023 Presidential Candidate. In this episode Mr Chapman speaks candidly about his
campaign, the challenges,why he is running for President and responds to allegations
that he is a Zanu PF Project. He believes Zimbabweans have suffered enough and it’s time
to change the state of affairs in this country. Could this be what Zimbabweans have been
waiting for? Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of his episode here

Audience Responses

From the Robert Chapman episode, our community had this to say:

Timothy Mutsekwa:
Wow!! What an impressive man.We were being short-changed by the other available
candidates. Now here is quality and substance
Takuriramunashe Famba:
Robert chapman is like Obama for us Zimbabweans. Articulate, Charming, Intelligent,
Clear about history and brilliant and exciting vision.
Elie Thepriest:
The gentleman is on point. I have never voted in my life time. For the first time I
will vote for him to be the president of our beautiful Zimbabwezw.

In Conversation with Nigel Mugamu

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Don’t miss the next episode with the Founder and CEO of 263Chat, Nigel Mugamu In
Conversation with Trevor.

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Podcasts

in conversation with trevorZimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube sits down with various
high-profile guests in a series of candid, conversations that seeks to go beyond the
headlines and beyond the sensational.

Book of the Week

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Awaken the Giant Within: How to take Immediate control of Your Mental,
Emotional, Physical, and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins.

Order
yours on Amazon

Recommended Reading:

Winners and how they succed

by Alistair Campbell


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