FORMER Zanu PF politburo member and Cabinet minister Enos Nkala has predicted a landslide victory for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the forthcoming general elections, tentatively set for March next year, describing his former party as “moribund”.
SILAS NKALA/NQOBANI NDLOVU
In an exclusive interview with NewsDay in Bulawayo on Saturday, Nkala, who is one of Zanu PF’s surviving founding fathers, said his former party, which has been in power for the past 32 years, was headed for a crushing defeat because most of its leaders were “too old to challenge the vibrant, young labour-backed party”.
Nkala, who quit government and active politics over two decades ago after he was implicated in a motor vehicle scam — the Willowgate scandal — said contrary to recent poll surveys which predicted a Zanu PF victory, Tsvangirai remained ahead of the pack because of his wide grassroots support base.
“Tsvangirai and his party are still ahead of all others. Even if you goto Harare, Beitbridge, Matabeleland North, Manicaland, Masvingo and everywhere, you hear people talk about Tsvangirai and his party,” Nkala said.
“Zanu PF was then a massive party, but now it is moribund. It is too old and what I know at the moment is that it is led by (President Robert)Mugabe and nothing else. In Matabeleland, Zanu PF no longer has vibrant people. It is just left with individuals who are too old like me. It is totally finished. What can a person of my age do to challenge a new and strong party like MDC-T?”
Nkala said only the MDC-T was “alive” throughout the country, dismissing other political parties as mere Zanu PF “fragments” and “a waste of time”.
“Other little fragments must be forgotten. I do not know if Zanu PF will use other resources or diamonds where it has an upper hand to gain votes or not, but MDC-T is clearly in the driving seat in terms of votes.”
He warned other parties that do not enjoy the same popularity as Tsvangirai and his party to desist from vote-buying.
“A person cannot be bought. People will vote for the party that they hope will deliver a better future for them.”
Nkala’s remarks come at a time when Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has publicly admitted that there was a lot of vote-buying within his party. Zanu PF national spokesman Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print yesterday.
Meanwhile, MDC-T national youth leader Solomon Madzore on Saturday said his party was poised for what he termed an “ocean victory”.
Addressing journalists at Bulawayo Press Club, Madzore, who is still smarting from a 14-month remand prison spell for the alleged murder of Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View, Harare, last year, said:“We are going to have an ocean victory, not a landslide victory.
“I can assure you that we have lots of support in the military and among prison officers. We are not worried about their (security chiefs) threats not to recognise our victory next year. They (security chiefs) represent only themselves and not ordinary members of the military and other security establishments,” Madzore said.
He also threatened to prematurely announce national election results to safeguard against alleged manipulation by State security agents.
“We have to protect our vote. As such, we are going to announce our independent election results after tallying the results posted outside polling stations. We are not scared of being arrested for trying to protect our vote,” Madzore said.
However, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chief elections officer Lovemore Chipunza Sekeramayi said Madzore could be charged with flouting electoral laws.
“It is illegal to do that. Zec is the only authority that has the powers and the right to do so,” Sekeramayi said.