OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa has expressed optimism that the opposition will win next year’s elections given “a wave” of opposition triumphs in the Southern African Development Community region over the past two years.
This follows opposition party victories in recent elections in Zambia, Malawi and most recently in Lesotho.
Zimbabwe and Nigeria are headed for general elections next year.
Final results of the general elections held in Lesotho last week showed that the Revolution for Prosperity, an opposition party formed six months prior to the election, won 56 out of 120 seats in parliamentary elections.
Chamisa tweeted: “Congratulations to the great people of #Lesotho for choosing the new, choosing hope over familiarity. Malawi did it. Zambia did it. Lesotho has done it. Nigeria will do it. We’re next. Zimbabwe we will do it! Young people shall save Africa. Play your part. Bring the change. Serve and save our Zimbabwe. Get involved. One is more. Your voice matters. Your vote counts.”
South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane, founder of the One South Africa Movement, a coalition of independent politicians intending to contest the South African 2024 elections said opposition wins in Malawi, Zambia and Lesotho heralded democratic change in Sadc countries.
“There is a wind of democratic change in southern Africa. First it was Malawi, then it was Zambia, now a brand new party in Lesotho has shaken the country,” Maimane said.
“Next year it will be Zimbabwe gaining its second independence. Then in 2024, we the people of SA will remove the African National Congress,” Maimane said.
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Maimane’s statement, however, attracted a backlash from the ruling Zanu PF party, whose information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said: “I am not aware of that character called Maimane, but it is a known fact that politicians who have no traction always seek to find relevance through mentioning household names like Zanu PF. Whoever he is, he must be advised to find a better way of finding relevance, and one such way is working for the people like what Zanu PF does, rather than engaging in adversarial relations with popular discourses.”
Analyst Vivid Gwede said: “Citizens are increasingly becoming enlightened about the possibility of change through elections. Even where ruling parties have entrenched themselves, there is impatience with their poor performance in meeting people's basic needs.”
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