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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
elections: Welshman Ncube is sitting pretty
Farai Shoko, Mail and Guardian (SA)
July 12, 2013
31 poll will be a tight contest between President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in what many consider to be
a two-horse race.
analysts are predicting that MDC leader Welshman Ncube will emerge
as a kingmaker.
while Mugabe and Tsvangirai may be forced into a runoff, whoever
has Ncube's backing at that run-off will emerge the winner.
A close result
is also being predicted between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T in the parliamentary
and, local government elections, and again, Ncube's seats may prove
to be the deciding factor for a majority in the House
opinion polls have indicated that Zanu-PF may win the polls, analysts
believe it is an open race as all parties have weaknesses.
party has been busy on the campaign trail for longer than the other
parties, especially in its strongholds in Matabeleland. It has also
formed an alliance with Zapu, a party with roots in Matabeleland,
consolidating votes in that region.
The MDC has hinged its campaign on devolution of power, which seems
to resonate well in Matabeleland where government stands accused
of promoting underdevelopment of that region through neglect.
major weakness, however, whether real or perceived, is that it is
viewed as a regional or tribal party. It lacks a national appeal
and they have to address that," said political analyst Dumisani
of some of its candidates is also worrying and the party may have
lost ground under the leadership of [Arthur] Mutambara, when a number
of senior people defected to MDC-T. The departure of people like
[Abednico] Bhebhe and other senior party officials would have weakened
Dr Charity Manyeruke,
a politics lecturer at the University
of Zimbabwe, believes Mugabe's "people-centred" policies,
such as the land reform and the indigenisation programmes coupled
with his history as a liberator, give him an advantage compared
with his rivals.
But Nkomo believes
Zanu-PF has been in power for too long, which may work against it
scoring the majority - leaving it in need of a coalition.
also has serious problems, including having been in power for 33
years, in which they have largely failed. The electorate will be
wondering if the party has anything new to offer," said Nkomo.
Ncube Yet analysts believe the protest vote could once again drive
support for the MDC-T, but this time diluted by Tsvangirai's performance
during the tenure of the unity government.
number of people are just tired of Mugabe and Zanu-PF and want change,"
But the MDC-T
also needs Ncube.
scandals had an effect on Morgan Tsvangirai's brand. His indecision
and lack of strategic thinking have also cost him. For example,
he made a blunder by conniving with Mugabe to back Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara instead of backing Ncube," said Nkomo.
are that Tsvangirai and Ncube may fail to unite before the polls.
Political analyst Dr Ibbo Mandaza believes Ncube has the capacity
to win enough votes to ensure the presidential election goes to
has the capacity to win between 10 and 20 seats, which will make
him hold the balance of power in Parliament. We are likely going
to have a hung Parliament with almost equal numbers between Zanu-PF
and MDC-T," he said.
Zimbabwe lecturer Professor Eldred Masunungure also believes the
next parliament will be hung and that Ncube's entry into the presidential
race would force a runoff between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Calls for a
coalition Pressure is mounting in diplomatic circles for Welshman
Ncube and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to forge a coalition.
camp this week vehemently denied any electorate pact with Tsvangirai,
insisting it was a creation of the media.
in Harare this week told the Mail & Guardian that there is a
general consensus within the diplomatic community that they should
logical thing to do at this moment is for Ncube to play ball with
Tsvangirai," said a Western diplomat, who asked not to be named.
"It is now or never. We are tired of the Zimbabwe crisis,"
week forged an electoral pact with former Zanu-PF politburo member
Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Seketai Sengwayo of Zanu
The MDC-T leader
on Tuesday got an endorsement from businessman Mutumwa Mawere.
Last week, Ncube
also signed a pact with former Zanu-PF politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa
spoke on behalf of the Tsvangirai coalition, told journalists on
Monday that there had been talks about roping Ncube into the grand
But in a hard-hitting
response, Ncube's secretary general, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga,
denied that her party was in talks with Tsvangirai.
to place it on record that MDC has never been involved in any five-party
dismiss with the contempt it deserves the deliberate falsification
… by Simba Makoni," she said, adding that the lies are
some of the reasons why Ncube does not want to be associated with
"political leaders who have mastered the art of politics of
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