By Pieter Ziegler

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has the unenviable record of being a poor candidate when it comes to polls.

That track record has failed to change even when he became the presidential candidate in the 2018 elections.

He scuttled through by electoral millimeters beating Nelson Chamisa by a mere 300 000 votes.

In the August 23 elections the blandness of his candidacy was even more apparent.

He lost or dropped votes to Chamisa in several areas where his own MPs and Councilors easily won.

His final tally was a frenetic and gasping 52.6%.

It provides context to the shenanigans that are FAZ and various 4ED outfits that have sprouted all over the country.

FAZ, is led by the CIO deputy director Retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi.

It emerged from the shadow of a frontrunner outfit of ilk nature, Heritage Trust.

Heritage Trust also ran the national elections in November 2018.

Like the 4ED contrivances, FAZ is essentially ED trying to build his brand and change his poor record at the polls.

Whispers from within the party have alleged that he doesn’t have wholesome support from within.

Thus he had to craft his own outfits. FAZ is one such result.

A Blunder or A Huge Blunder

However, FAZ has failed to be effective and ended up as the large smudge on a controversial election.

Bekezela Gumbo, a researcher at the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute was quoted speaking about FAZ’s impact on the electoral system.

“The immediate impact is to deter opposition support and create a parallel Mnangagwa structure that operates parallel to Zanu PF structures.

“This further highlights elite discohesion within Zanu PF.

“The long-term impact is that the electoral environment has been compromised and captured to favour Zanu PF, in particular, and the Mnangagwa faction within Zanu PF.”

The Commonwealth Observer team was equally perturbed by FAZ.

“We observed, and received various report, that an NGO called Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) had set up exit poll survey tables in close proximity to polling stations with governing party regalia.

“From our briefings with other civil society organisationa and stakeholders it was made clear that exit poll survey is currently not permitted within the legal framework of Zimbabwe.

The head of the African Union (AU) observer mission, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said the FAZ activities should be declared “criminal offenses.

“At the United Nations, a spokeswoman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “concerned about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion.

Some of these crimes were a product of FAZ.

As the country finds itself in another disputed election President Mnangagwa also finds himself back at square one.

Facing the reality of how his candidature has once again failed to be inspiring and spark some magic.

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