Why Mnangagwa will lose the election

The economy. The temptation for those in the political classes is to view politics as an abstract game. It is not.

By Edmund Kudzayi

There are real people who graduated 10 years ago and have never seen a pay slip. People unable to pay their rents. Children sent home from school over fees. Their lives are not an abstract game.

They have real problems but no solution to alleviate their circumstances. But hope springs eternal. Elections are their hope.

Only politicians believe those voters will be persuaded by cheap tricks like a cute Jah Prayzah song extolling a war hero way past his sell-by date.

This reality presents a problem for Zanu PF. The economy is screaming.

While Zanu PF heralds billion dollar investment after billion dollar investment, the reality is less animated.

People are still sleeping in bank queues. People still don’t have any money.

While Zanu PF bizarrely claims to have created 4,5 million jobs since 2013 the question is simple enough. Do YOU have a job? Does your son have a job? Do YOU have money in your pocket? Does your sister have money in her pocket? The answer is invariably no.

While the economy howls and poverty continues to educate voters, Zanu PF has additional problems at home.

Magunje MP and former Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa is running as an independent.

He is wildly popular and the primary election, from which he was barred, was a disgraceful farce, as hundreds of ballots were simply written “MP wangu haapo”. It’s game over for Zanu PF in Magunje.

The bigger problem for Zanu PF is that there are dozens of Gandawa-type G40 remnants across the country actively decampaigning President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In Kwekwe you have the popular Masango “Blackman” Matambadzo running under the National Patriotic Front (NPF) ticket and holding immense rallies. It is game over for Zanu PF in Kwekwe.

In Harare, more trouble is brewing. Harare South, the only constituency in the capital Zanu PF has consistently held, faces the Shadreck Mashayamombe rebellion.

He was elected to Harare South on a Zanu PF ticket and enjoys deep relationships in the constituency.

He is running under the NPF/MDC Alliance ticket and has proved an indefatigable opponent, pressing on even after a series of abductions to force him to back down.

So significant is the threat of defeat at the hands of Mashayamombe that Vice-President General Constantino Chiwenga recently exercised considerable energies at a rally attacking the former MP.

I could go on, but I don’t need to. Earlier this week, Zanu PF expelled 41 members running as independents. They expelled 41 Gandawas.

You might not know the names of these people, but you don’t need to — politics is always about local dynamics.

The fact that Mnangagwa cannot see what is happening in Magunje as “bhora musango” messages are shared late at night over WhatsApp does not mean it is not happening.

I have not mentioned the many Zanu PF voters, such as myself, that were unhappy with what Mnangagwa did to then President Robert Mugabe. Our vote is not a secret.

It also helps when The Herald accuses MDC-T and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of working with Mugabe.

We are drawn the more to Chamisa while his urban base has learnt to ignore The Herald propaganda, confining themselves to the sports pages.

The generosity of chance is such that MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa might not win the election — Mnangagwa could lose it.

But Chamisa is not to be underestimated. He is running a cunning campaign, largely ignoring his urban base.

His focus has been Zanu PF strongholds. Small jabs, but jabs all the same.

Zanu PF has put itself into a new dispensation box and is unable to rely on its tried and tested intimidation methods to block these rallies and rural engagements.

Then the big one: Chamisa is reaching out to resettled farmers with the promise of title deeds.

It takes little imagination to understand what is happening in the minds of this traditional Zanu PF base of resettled farmers. If Chamisa wins, I will own this land.

Newspaper and ZBC reports will not help you appreciate the national mood. The truth is expressed in popular culture.

The music people sing. The jokes they send. The memes they retweet on Twitter, screenshot and share on WhatsApp groups.

This is where you see who people like or dislike. There is a flood of anti-ED material floating in popular culture.

A simple test is to search for the “Mnangagwa” keyword on Facebook, Twitter or Google.

Ignoring the handful of noisy and well paid Varakashi, the vast majority of user-generated content is ungenerous or part of an ungenerous conversation.

Is Mnangagwa rigging? Did Mnangagwa stage the bomb? Is he a wolf is sheepskin?

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is working with Zanu PF. Nobody is talking about groundbreaking at Hwange.

His open for business message is not getting through to those outside the political and business classes.

ED’s last line of defence is fear. Consider the following findings from Afrobarometer:

Three in 10 registered voters (31%) believe powerful people will be able to find out how they voted.

Three in 10 registered voters (31%) say they have been asked to show their biometric voter’s registration (BVR) slips. Respondents had been asked if anyone had demanded to see the serial number of their voter registration slip.

Seven in 10 Zimbabweans (72%) think voters must show their BVR slips in order to vote.

32% of respondents believe powerful people will make use of fingerprints and photographs collected during the BVR process.

41% of respondents believe security agencies will not accept presidential election results.

40% of respondents believe there will be violence after the election.

By the time we get to July 30, nobody will still be afraid. The fear will be gone. How?

Watch the magicians’ hand!

 Edmund Kudzayi is a journalist. He writes in his personal capacity.


  1. So u want to tell me that Mugabe was right to fires ED from hiS office?you are crazy bro,you should look both sides bro dnt jst blame ED for nothing.Mugabe deserve wat happened to him,i dnt feel an sorry for him.

  2. Sour grapes and all we know is that you were once upon a time hauled before the courts on suspicion of running a clandestine ring as BabaJukwa spewing dirty on zanoids and thats what we will remember you for not as a reputable journalist.



  3. so when u were jukwa u said mmugabe and zanu would lose the 2013 election what happened …then let’s not forget how u researched And narrated Prof Moyos politburo attack on ED…like Ibbo stop masquerading as an independent analyst we know u hate ED

  4. Farai Johnson Nhire

    This baba jukwa fool is very confused! How can Chamisa win elections in which he has already decided not to contest? Jukwa needs to know that the jails are waiting for your Nero who, seeing that he has no chance against the lion, has decided to opt for an unholy alliance with the lion’s predecessor and USA to help each other to comitt acts of banditry and rebellion in an effort to undermine the elections in which Ed is an obvious winner. Trump’s so called withdrawal of aid from NGO is nothing but an effort to hide his involvement in the planned disturbances the reason for which he has cautioned his fellow Americans about travelling to Zimbabwe. It is not a mere coincidence that Trump issued the warning after the so called dumping of the NGO, which is a lie though, and an unanounced visit by Chamisa to the middleeast and his subsequent meeting with uncle Bob in Dubai and eventually the Mdc alliance threatening an unspecified action in the few days to come. Jonathan Moyo has also been promissing bloodshed.

  5. Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    I don’t agree with your academic comments on our elections outcome. If you read back the debate in the US Senate when they were debating their sanctions law bill ZIDERA, such feelings, and expectations that Zimbabweans would vote against ZANU PF after suffering from the effects of sanctions have been proved wrong. Zimbabweans love their land as the foundation of sovereignty and freedom from colonial past. Sanctions imposed because of our land issue are being removed now and our economy will recover under the new dispensation. Its wrong for you to think, we the resettled farmers are crying for title deeds. The title deeds are not the issue, economically speaking. Farmers need more skills, profitable markets for their produce, competitive production cost structure in the region. Farmers can produce successfully without title deeds. Banks can lend money to any successful farmer who is able to produce profitably and service loans. Banks should be innovative in their lending. Zimbabweans will continue to vote ZANU PF in their majority and Cde Mnangagwa will win in my informed view.

    1. People love ED , to be honest people, really love what happened in November and everyone sang Kutonga kwaro marching proudly with a Zimbabwean flag in oneness. Had ED solved the cash crisis, other issues people can endure. Right now people need cash cash cash and cash. As long people suffer the cold winter weather enduring early morning bank ques, they will always want something better. People love ED yes but some still have old memories of the past for him. People love Chamisa a lot as young as he is there are high expectations from him. Chamisa has managed to do what Tsvangirai failed to do. Tsvangirai’s weakness was concentrating in towns and tactfully avoiding rural areas. Chamisa has shaken Chiredzi, with the young and the old singing revolutionary songs together with him at the stadium. Chamisa has been well received in Chiweshe and for the first time they publicly promised him his vote, Mutoko the song is the same, and you still have the Bikita clip, you can re play it, then Jerera rally you saw it with your own eye. We cant talk of Gwanda because this is part of Matabeleland. If you have a relative or friend in Magunje right now call him / her and ask about Chamisa. You will be told first hand information. Hwedza, has already said give us ED free T shirts so that we will give Young Leader Chamisa free votes. You know the truth but you do not want to admit. Shamva and Mount Darwin were lost since they are still singing Mai Mujuru mantra. That will not be good as they will split votes. Zvimba has gone already with NPF . That area is intoxicated by the former head of state. Midlands , Kwekwe even Chamisa will have to be strong to wrestle it from Matambanadzo. It will only take a miracle for ED to win this one. Of course he is the darling of championing transition but people want more than what is there currently. Just wait and see.

      1. spot on man

  6. EK, that’s factual reportage don’t worry about some responses the old saying goes facts are stubborn.

  7. Theyareinpanicmode

    He might have be accused of being baba jukwa,it might be a case of sour grapes, but all the same plausible observations and the writing is on the wall. EDiot and junta pf’s kleptocracy will only win with a lot of help from chigumba and zec not popularity. Never! And deep inside their hearts every zanoid knows that!!

  8. its your wishful thinking. Mnangagwa will not just win but with a wider margin. MDC Alliance is in total disarray of not fielding candidates in 90 wards, 2 parliamentary seats Hurungwe East and Insiza North and also double candidates in 14 parliamentary constituencies

  9. What a very one-sided “article”! Can anything good come out of Baba Jukwa? He is Jonathan Moyo’s willing appendage and kowtows to his caprices and whims. ED inherited a severely battered economy and it will take him some time to resurrect it. Jukwa says supporters are angry about what ED did to Mugabe but i do not really know what happened to him. For all his heinous reign of terror that manifested itself on heavy-handedness on perceived enemies, Robert Mugabe and his cantankerous wife deserved the thrown in prison. ED spared them that and is even giving them royal treatment. It is Robert Mugabe and his G40 cabal who are now biting the very hand that is feeding them. Vozviparira voga voona!

  10. Linda Ndlovu- UZ

    This report is well researched. I get a lot of sense out of it. Dismiss it at your own peril. Mark my words, ED is just like Saul, Young David is going to be anointed come July 30. Chamisa will romp to victory.

    1. Oh, God! Well-researched!? My foot! This guy does not have a figment of understanding of the Zimbabwean voter behaviour. He just doesnt understand how MDC Alliance shot itself in the foot! I fail to understand why people like you fail understand the confusion and bias in this Edmund Kudzayi’s article. He clearly says heis unhappy with what happened to Mugabe, hence he is against ED and current Zanu Pf set-up, and you have the audacity to say this is an article that is well-researched! Come on! You make Zimbabwean academics and researchers look so cheap and incompetent!

  11. Zvema social science zvinonetsa izvi. There is no definite answer. Its just mere speculation.

  12. A very poor political comment.Do your research wisely .This wasnt worth to be published as it displays poor research methods and poor reasoning.

  13. Shoko ra Nehoreka

    MMMMMMM Mnangagwa acharowha ne zvaasinga kuona kuti zvabvepi. This time pakaipa, haa hwinhi apa . Vanhu vaneta kunyeperwa makore 38, vanhu tarwadziwa. Kurara pamisuwo yama bank. Haaaaaa mirai muone mukono unozvambuka rwendo runo. Apa tarisai muone Chamisa arikungotenderera kuma ruwa. Yangova Chamisa yaaaa Mnangagwa hambaaaaaaaa. Chamusingazivi ndechekuti vanhu vanoda masoja kuti achengetedze nyika, asi vanhu hatina kufara ne kutorerwa musangano kwatakaitwa ne ma soja. Chamisa arikutonga kunyangwe mapato anopikisa akawandisa. vanhu kuno kumaruwa varikutoti zvanonoka. Imi kuma dhorobha vhoterai munanganwa wacho. Rwendo runo shiri yabvuta rekeni. taneta mufunge kukwira bhazi kuinda pa growth point kunorara pamusuwo we POSB apa mari yacho woishaiwa. haaiwa bodo taramba. tomboidza zvitsva na Chamisa iyeye chero achiri mucheche hazvinei. tinomuvhotera chete. kusiri kufa ndekupi. vachatirova asi Chamisa yaaaa. Munangarwa hambaaaaa. Hatichadi, taneta tatambura ne kushaiwa mari. hatichadi munhu asiri Chamisa, toda Chamisa chete chete, Chamisa yaaaaaaa munangarwa hambaa.

  14. Akuzinuke amakhwapha wena.wena lojonso likusame whatsup group.ED is winning these elections.


  16. The vote is going to Advocate Chamisa. No doubt.

  17. Your Name (required):Special Black

    My friend have you moved around the people think about this young president? Munangarwa will win resoundingly. people dont cruel leaders that make them suffer in order to vote for them that is extortion. pa 10 years ndimi mdc nemudhara wenyu uyu. kana kuri kuti anechitsotsi chaaita kuti awine anofanira kuendeswa ku ICC. Jonso bloodshed yake yaari kutaura its far fetched, zviitei henyu muoone vakuru vangu munorara mava kuICC.

  18. So many prophets including two prominent ones have revealed that Chamisa will rule. Deny it or not.

    1. These false prophets

    2. vakapiwa gwenzi nenamga imwe mwari haana rimwe nevarevi venhema ava

  19. Farai J Nhire

    One of the most popular prophets by the name Tb Joshua predicted a woman’s victory in Us elections which woman i gues is not Donald Trump.

  20. For many false prophets have gone into the world

    The same prophets who used to tell us that Mugabe would rule for life?

  21. Wezhira Wezhara

    @Baba Jukjwa just to prove that you are very shallow in terms of analysis, Harare South is not the only constituency held by Zanu PF in the capital as you allege. We have Mount Pleasant held by Pasadi, Mukupe has another one, Betty Kaseke has another so “unopenga, unopenga”, said Grace

  22. Comment…who elected mnangangwa to the presidency if i may ask? coz really he has neva won any election,he has always been appointed so wat do u think has changed now for people to vote for him,he couldn’t win in his home town what of the whole nation.The grow up people & build a future for our children now

  23. Dream on baba Jukwa. You are allowed to dream aloud. You and your previous paymasters are history and irrelevant sod off.

  24. I have not mentioned the many Zanu PF voters, such as myself, that were unhappy with what Mnangagwa did to then President Robert Mugabe

    so you quote the main reason why we were no longer zanu pf supporters was because of that name you are all sours he has manged to do what you failed for the past 37 years in leadership

    what yor talking about is your fault kungouya nhasi otonzi agadzirise zvaka kakanganiswa all these years

    we waqnt a better zim work towards that and shut up

  25. Farai Johnson Nhire

    Ed was not elected but come July 30, that will happen. For those whose iq is naturally too low, neither Ed nor any other Zanu pf representative could have won any urban constituence those days. But I am glad to inform you that things have changed as Chamisa no longer enjoys the level of monopoly that honourable late Morgan used to have among urban voters. May his soul rest in iternal peace. It was very rare then to hear some voices arguing in favor of the ruling party in political discussions among urban people.

  26. Surely a person with well balanced brains can easily tell the outcome of the election by mere looking at how this younger idiot chanyiswa is behaving. He nolonger trust anything in this country even his own shadow is now rigging elections in favour of the Crocodile kkkkkkkk imi momukwidza ndege yemashanga muchimuti president heeee advocate hooo!!! an advocate who fights the constitution? A president who think to win election you have to lie to people? VaMnangagwa vari kutoita zviri kutoonekwa nevanhu wose paground including chanyiswa. Those who think ED must have made this country better than England or US in 6 month are just but day dreamers like their chanyiswa who is busy lying to them that he can revive the economy in 7 days kkkkkkkkkk even though he is the sponsor of sanctions he cannot do anything better than ED in a whole year. ED PFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  27. I couldn’t have expressed it any better. Well said Edmund!!!

  28. Comment…Pliz pray for Zim .Mnangagwa to rule zim wont be easy he may rig and win but the very guy who wants that crown will kill him. Look at the constution

    1. What an observation. One wins and governs for 6months but the other can go on to finish the term even if it is 4.5 years. Pakaipa

  29. Cde Magamba Tichatonga

    Baba Jukwa madzoka zvakare? Tinokuzivai zvedu nezvimwe zvese zvamunoita muchiti vanhu havakuonei

  30. Well articulated , people take that article at your own peril , for the first time a good research by a Zimbabwean . it tru that only those who have benefited and still benefiting from the corrupt Zanu Pf will vote for ED , those who want Zimbabwe to work again and to improve the lives of the ordinary people are going to vote Chamisa , just watch the space . ED and all those old madhara should e`be rested . What can ED and his team if given five years to run the country , which they have failed to do for the last past 38 years , Mugabe was not alone so ED and all the Locaste team must not hide behind the fingure . ICO .

  31. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Baba jukwa uyaii muende kujeri nemari yamakaba. koChamisa akatorera Tsvangirai achirwara akasarudzwa, senior ndiyani kupe nachamisa. chamisa akasarudzwa ne congress here kana kuti maka floughter constitution yenyu. Iwe unoti hausikufara nekubva kwakaita mugabe iwe hauoni kuti yanga yava abuse of the elderly. 37years munhu one achingotonga. kucomonwealthy aka decider ega kuti tibude paya paida refarandamu. asi apa hatidi kutukana pse. Mutungamiri we ZANU PF chero akaita akaita sei anongowiner nokutinoida.

  32. Eish ED is so unpopular the CIO guys are really having to work extra hard to post comments all over with ridiculous logic all in a vain attempt to spruce his image but unfortunately hazvishande

  33. what can edmund tell us we all know yu shenanigans we are not interested in what yu say it credibility and substance

  34. Comment…Who exactly, in his proper senses, is still supporting a broken, twisted and mangled system that has bedevilled us for such a long time. People dont need anyone to tell them of what is happening anymore. We have seen it!. We have felt it! We are hurt! Everyone out there, gogos, anamdara nevapfanha know exactly what their Xs on the ballot paper is gonna bring them. The TIME is now.

  35. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Special Black and others are not CIOs thats the fact. Some of us takajoina musangano 1975 asi hatipanduki. We are using our money just like what you doing. I dont feel offended when I read your comments. but tirikuda kutsemura nyaya senyaya kuti vanhu vazive chokwadi kuti kana azokunda tomukorokotedza. thanks my friend.


  37. mnangagwa pasi newe.


  38. mmmmmm

  39. 30 30 July wasvika uyu! MaManyawi ose achapera ayaya zvipopi!

  40. BABA JUKWA, have you since swallowed your words?

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