In multiparty democracies, a single party should not set the agenda. Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF want us to believe it should. No doubt then, that the announcement of the formation of the NPF by the remnants of Generation 40 has rattled their plans.
Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa was recently all over social media telling everyone who cares to listen the achievements that his government has made since taking over on November 24, 2017.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party is proving to be its own worst enemy as it bids to topple the ruling party in this year’s general elections, the first without Robert Mugabe in decades. The timing for the MDC’s woes is awful.
President Mnangagwa recently said that he would announce the date of the harmonized elections anytime after 12 February. The big question is whether voters will choose the ruling ZANU-PF party or the opposition MDC.
Voter buying is not a new phenomenon, stands, food, farming implements and other goodies are now know to be used as a carrot and stick measure towards every election.
This year’s harmonized elections with the presidential election, the most exciting in living memory, promises an upheaval. ZANU-PF which has held power since independence could be eliminated in the first round of a presidential ballot.
Afraid of VP Mnangagwa’s rising popularity, Mugabe fired the former as Vice President in early November 2016. This led to dramatic events of 13-24 November 2017 that saw Mugabe resigning.
As tyrants come up against the presidential term-limits included in many multi-party constitutions, a significant number are refusing to relinquish power. Instead, a good number of leaders have sought to secure a third term.
2017 has already seen Zimbabwe’s social movements scaling down efforts to encourage government to act on high unemployment, rampant corruption and upholding with basic human rights due to threats of reprisals.
The widening age gap between African leaders and their populations is a cause for concern. For instance, in 2016, the average median age of the African population was 20, while the average age for Heads of State was 66.