Chiwenga Has All But Declared Mnangagwa Winner Of 2023 Elections

Opinion By FELIX CHIRORO

VICE PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga made an astounding and shocking revelation on Saturday, declaring clearly that the presidency of Zimbabwe would never be occupied by an opposition leader. Equally complicit in that hardline stance was President Emmerson Mnangagwa himself, who also fired potshots at Nelson Chamisa.

This is as much worrying as it is laughable. For a country with a dying economy like ours, with petrol queues not vanishing while basic foodstuffs are vanishing from shop shelves, it is an insult that the country’s two most powerful men organize a $1 million rally to fire potshots at an opposition leader.

“In all the coming elections, no-one is going to remove Shumba Murambwi (Mnangagwa). We are here until he feels it is the time to go and when we have fully restored our country to its former glory and when everything is in order,” Chiwenga declared.

When such a statement comes from the man who masterminded a coup only twelve months ago, it carries added weight and venom. It makes a mockery of this whole New Dispensation gimmick, exposing those in government for the real dictators that they are.

The Vice President’s utterances make it even more for statutory bodies such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to convince the nation that they are genuinely independent. All this coming at a time the public’s trust in ZEC and the judiciary is waning.

Chiwenga even went on to say: “No-one must dream of being the President. We want our country to prosper and it is time to move the country forward. It’s no longer time for bickering and politics. From here going forward, we are now talking of politics of development, of building the country and moving the country forward.”

If no-one must dream of being President, we’re undoubtedly back in Mugabe’s hell-hole, if not worse. Zimbabweans deserve the right and freedom to aspire to be whoever they want, including being President.

Chiwenga has just confirmed that those 22 candidates who competed against President Mnangagwa in July were just “dreaming”, because that State House job has become a straight jacket once again, as the late General Vitalis Zvinavashe once told the nation.

On January 9 2002, the then Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander Vitalis Zvinavashe declared to the country:

We wish to make it very clear to all Zimbabwean citizens that the security organisations will only stand in support of those political leaders that will pursue Zimbabwean values, traditions and beliefs for which thousands of lives were lost in the pursuit of Zimbabwe’s hard won independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests. To this end, let it be known that the highest office in the land is a straitjacket whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle. We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute, anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty.

Zvinavashe’s statement came two months before the 2002 presidential election and was directed mainly at the opposition leader, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, who had no liberation war credentials. Tsvangirai did not fit Zvinavashe’s “straitjacket”.

Now, two months after an election, Chiwenga has morphed into another Zvinavashe, declaring statements that will place himself on the wrong back-end of history for many years to come. Nelson Chamisa and all other opposition leaders do not fit Chiwenga’s “straitjacket”.

These men who lord it over us need to be reminded that they won by a hair-raising 0.6% of the vote, which is less than 35,000 voters. The National Sports Stadium has a 60,000 capacity!

The Vice President will not withdraw his statement of course. No-one can force him to withdraw, since his only boss President Mnangagwa also partook in punching holes into the little semblance of democracy they had created. Besides, they have the guns and military in their hands.

It leaves Zimbabweans with the option to use what they have: hearts. The 45% that didn’t vote these people, plus those who did not even vote, plus those who voted for these unrepentant leaders, should all team up and say never again!

Otherwise, the winner of the 2023 elections has just been declared, in November 2018!

Felix Chiroro is a Harare-based Mathematician, scientist and author.

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