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Zimbabwe 2023 polls: Democracy for sale

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By Kholwani Nyathi

An imperfect stage is now set for Zimbabweans to elect new leaders after processes to confirm candidates for presidential, parliamentary and local government positions were concluded on June 21.

The presidential race will be a crowded field after 11 candidates, including the exiled Saviour Kasukuwere, successfully filed their nomination papers. 2018 elections had a staggering 23 presidential aspirants.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the ripe age of 80 will be running for what should be his last term in office if he respects the constitution. He is certainly leaving nothing to chance judging by the amount of money he has poured into his campaign.

Besides Kasukuwere, the Zanu PF leader will have to contend with his fierce rival Nelson Chamisa whom he narrowly defeated in the disputed 2018 polls to avoid being a one term president.

Some presidential hopefuls that entertained dreams of becoming the next occupants of 1 Chancellor Avenue fell by the wayside at the last hurdle after they failed to raise the US$20 000 needed to appear on the ballot.

It will be a men only affair after Lead president Linda Masarira and United Zimbabwe Alliance’s Elisabeth Valerio failed to make it.

There were similar stories of despair for aspiring Members of Parliament who were being charged US$1000 by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and councillors who were expected to pay US$20 to contest the elections.

The nomination fees were exorbitant given the currency chaos and the ailing economy.

Money does not seem to be a problem for Zanu PF despite the public secret that the party is perennially broke.

All its known businesses are either bankrupt or have gone under, but the party has bought a staggering 800 cars for use by its candidates.

Obscene amounts of money have also been spent on campaign regalia and more will be thrown into advertising campaigns.

Zanu PF’s candidate list for Parliament and council also attracted businesspeople of questionable repute that have been throwing money around like confetti at a wedding.

These characters include Scott Sakupwanya in Harare’s Mabvuku and Esau Mupfumi in Mutare Central.

Sakupwanya featured in the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia documentary that exposed alleged looting of Zimbabwe’s gold at an industrial scale.

There are also gold barons that would be representing the party amid claims that they were imposed by the shadowy Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), which is running Zanu PF’s 2023 election campaign.

FAZ is believed to have links to the Central Intelligence Organisation and it oversaw the Zanu PF chaotic primary elections held in March.

The amount of money that is being funnelled into this election campaign by the ruling party must worry all patriotic Zimbabweans because the source of the funds is at best opaque.

The suspicion is that some countries in Asia and Eastern Europe are oiling the Zanu PF campaign with their eyes firmly set on the country’s minerals such as lithium, diamonds and coal.

Perennial issues that blight Zimbabwe’s elections such as political violence, paucity of substantial issues that impact the ordinary person and rigging aside, money will be a big issue in these polls.

Money is being used to promote exclusionary politics as demonstrated by the high nomination fees.

The country’s natural resources are also being mortgaged for selfish ends.

Desperation for power retention must not be at the expense of future generations.

Mnangagwa must take responsibility for opening the door for dirt to further stain local politics. This appears to be a big part of Mnangagwa’s legacy.

*Kholwani Nyathi is Editor-In-Chief of Alpha Media Holdings and editor of The Standard

In Conversation with Tafadzwa Mundicha

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In his early 30’s Tafadzwa Mundicha has achieved a lot and is aiming high. He co-founded SolGas Energy which has built a 5KW plant in Hwange. The solar plant has been feeding uninterrupted power into the national grid over the past 20 months. He shares his inspirational life journey and continental ambition in this week’s episode. Watch his episode here..

Audience Responses

From the Godfrey Tsenengamu episode, our community had this to say:

Ken Moyo:
What an inspirational guy. It was just pure gold. Thanks Trevor. We need to see solar panels springing up along Byo to Plumtree road
Doris Mufara:
Inspiring conversation. So much to learn – vision, perseverance and just the willingness to take risks. Well done Mr Mundicha for being such an examplary figure and congratulations for what you have been able to achieve. Thank you Mr Ncube.
Innocent Muswerakuenda:
Always proud of you Taf! Keep winning!
Istrafel Zhou:
Thank you Tafadzwa and Trevor for this powerful interview. God bless always.

Coming Next: In Conversation with Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa

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Don’t miss the next episode with Broadcast Journalist and Media Consultant Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa 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.
  • Lesley Marange; Founder & CEO of Glytime Foods Private Limited.
  • Dr Ethel Mupambwa; CEO of Money Mart Finance.
  • Dr Chaii; a Grammy nominated record producer, songwriter/singer who has produced for Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, Pitbull ,Nicki Minaj, Sean Paul.

Book of the Week

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What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Order
yours on Amazon

Recommended Reading:

The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.

by Robin Sharma


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