By Pieter Ziegler
If one were to go by the sights of his rallies and exuberance of the accompanying crowds at the various shopping centres, then we are in for a tight electoral race.
However, when what is considered are practical gears of the election system, the context and the political ecosystem of the opposition itself, the blooming hope gives way to withering despair.
Suddenly one discovers that the country isn’t perched on the cusp of some new iridescent dawn but is actually dangling from a perilous ridge.
The hollow bottom of another sham election waits to swallow the opposition whole.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) remains the shady referee it has always been with some suspect decisions, actions and systems.
From the Delimitation exercise to the voter’s roll, the electoral body has failed to engender confidence within the public.
Pachedu last week revealed that it has found over 10 000 ID’s on the 2023 voters roll that were previously used by different people between 2002 and 2008 elections.
It accused ZEC of recycling old IDs.
Meanwhile, the Delimitation exercise has resulted in so many confusing decisions.
Many people will find themselves voting in alien areas.
The recently released voter’s roll has been described by opposition member Tendai Biti as a “crime scene”.
“The current voters roll is not fit for burial society election.
“It is a crime scene.
“There must be an urgent national audit of this roll signed off by all political parties.
“Zimbabwe can’t be led into an occult travesty masquerading as an election. August 23 must be a real election,” he said.
Essentially, all the ingredients for a sham and contested election are in place.
The chances for Chamisa to win in that environment are minimal to non-existent.
Political Ecosystem of the Opposition
CCC is currently riding a momentum drawing its windy force from the disengagement from Mwonzora’s MDC Alliance.
It has become the chaste and viable opposition for all those seeking to remove ZANU PF.
It’s a stag on heat.
Yet, even with that the new formation has its share of internal ructions threatening to undermine its chances.
Just like the 2018, there have been many impositions of candidates and the subsequent removal of legitimate ‘winners’.
This has created internal divisions which could ostracise a number of supporters.
This will be felt more by Parliamentary and Council candidates.
In Masvingo the current Mayor Collin Maboke is contesting for Masvingo Urban as an independent.
Meabwhile, in Norton Council Vice Chairperson Mtatabikwa is also contesting as an independent councilor.
The same is happening in Chitungwiza, prominently with Job Sikhala’s spokesperson and lawyer Freddy Masarirevhu.
The template is the same across the country.
Chamisa’s ‘centralised democracy’ has created yet another situation in which many are aggrieved and have sought outlets by going independent.
Whereas, ZANU PF has managed to largely rein-in its errant and aggrieved members the same can’t be said for CCC.
In Hurungwe Mash West Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka swallowed her pride and is contesting for a council post.
However, in the opposition some non-entities have refused such acts of contrition.
Such wayward absence of discipline will severely undermine Chamisa’s bid for power.
The Military Touch
Away from the basic rudiments of democracy and the electoral system it’s a public secret that the military has vested interest in the politics of the country.
The current ZANU PF has actually been accused of being a subject of the military since the 2017 coup.
The military is said to be running ZANU PF and every other civil act is merely a charade.
It’s thus difficult to believe that without efforts to converse with it, the opposition can win and assume power.
The first they could do, but as has happened before the second will be difficult.