PoliticsAnalysisCurrent Affairs

Context: It’s Manifesto Time, Obviously With Rejoice Ngwenya

By Rejoice Ngwenya In colloquial language, one would say the undercarriage of Zimbabwe’s electoral rocket launcher is now loaded with highly combustible political fuel. Only this week Zimbabwe’s ‘unpopular’ president Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered his eagerly anticipated proclamation of the country’s election and nomination court dates. Excuse my subjective affinity with the populist phrase ‘unpopular president’. This sentiment has precedent. Within the week that Mr Mnangagwa made his electoral proclamation, the House of Assembly, dominated by his Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party had committed what opposition parties and democratization NGOs termed ‘unforgivable transgression’. You see, elections in Zimbabwe are a matter of life and death. ZANU-PF has always been fingered for unleashing both physical and legal violence on its opponents. Those in the know insist that ZANU.PF, especially Mr Mnangagwa, is politically insecure, thus decrees and legislations that the late Dr Alex Magaisa termed ‘lawfare’ are that party’s weapon of first choice. ZANU-PF has been accused of bulldozing through Parliament the ‘patriotic bill’ that is seen as preventing dissenting voices from airing their dissatisfaction to the international community. Political analysts have questioned vagueness and validity of ‘sovereignty and national interest’ as a basis for imprisonment.

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