MIDLANDS and Matabeleland residents on Friday expressed mixed feelings over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory, but spoke with one voice on the need for the government to urgently attend to the country’s socio-economic ills.
BY NQOBANI NLOVU/STEPHEN CHADENGA/NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Mnangagwa outpolled his main rival president Nelson Chamisa to emerge victor in an election the opposition MDC Alliance disputes as rigged.
In street interviews, Bulawayo residents said despite the electoral dispute surrounding the election results, energies should now be re-channelled towards economic turnaround programmes to cushion them against grinding poverty.
“I also doubt those results. I trust our leader (Chamisa) when he says that the elections were rigged. I am very disappointed with Mnangagwa’s election victory, but I hope and pray that whatever dispute is there will be solved without any violence,” Zibusiso Moyo said.
Several other people who claimed to be MDC Alliance supporters expressed disappointment with Mnagagwa’s victory, but called on the President-elect to deliver on his promises of an economic turnaround.
Gloria Nyatanga, a Zanu PF member said: “I am so elated about my President’s victory. I was so happy when the results were being announced. The President has been very clear on where he wants to take this nation.”
Charles Ndebele, a cobbler from Gweru said: “To some of us it’s business as usual as we struggle to put bread on the table. It’s difficult to expect a change from the same people who have been in power for the now 38 years.”
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A vendor, Oripa Moyo, said Wednesday’s demonstrations which were quashed by heavily armed soldiers revealed that Zanu PF was “more pre-occupied with retaining power than the general political and economic good of the people”.
But Tinashe Kuzonza had a different view, arguing that Mnangagwa had already set “sound ground” for the country’s economic and democratic prosperity.
In Victoria Falls and Hwange voters said despite all the commotion, all they wanted was a better future.
“We are happy that finally our dreams and aspirations seem to be a reality. The president is a peaceful leader who preaches unity and calmness. Going forward, we know that he will deliver and our country will return its status lost decades ago,” a Zanu PF supporter in Hwange East said.