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Personalities Not Issues To Determine Voters Choice in 2023

The 2023 harmonised elections looks set to be another personality contest between the two main contestants Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa with analysts concluding that citizens will once again miss an opportunity to vote for issues. Zimbabwe’s political terrain has since independence in 1980 been about personalities with the late founding President Robert Mugabe idolised and hero-worshipped till his unceremonious fall in 2017.

On the opposition front, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai enjoyed popular support until his death in January 2018. He was replaced by an equally popular Nelson Chamisa whose eloquence has won his both supporters and fanatics.

On the opposition front, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai enjoyed popular support until his death in January 2018. He was replaced by an equally popular Nelson Chamisa whose eloquence has won his both supporters and fanatics.

“Voting for personalities creates a situation where individuals get into position of power not on merit but on populism and related chicanery. People will end up focusing on personality battles and not contestation of ideas making our electoral process a mockery of its essence in shaping the national discourse,” said Dhliwayo.

“At the end of the day, it will be who is more popular or who has machinery to win elections and not who have the best ideas,” added Dhliwayo. Another Harare based political analyst and Director of Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking (ZIST), Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo concurred with Dhliwayo saying voting should be based on merit and strength of one’s manifesto. “In an ideal situation, it should be about ideas but in our Zimbabwean case and at this particular moment, voters will not even look into the manifesto, they are already decided on who to vote for. It’s not what we would want but its more ideological, right wing or leftist and that is the reality,” said Muzamhindo.

He added that Zimbabwe was a unique case because of the unfulfilled demand for change of government by mostly urbanites and the young people.

“The ruling government has lost goodwill of most urbanites and young people, so to them it’s not about what is on offer but the person or should I say the best person to win against Zanu PF,” added Muzamhindo. The 2023 elections will be a battle between Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa. The other candidates including MDC Alliance led by Douglas Mwonzora, the Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly, new entrants Irene Manyara Muyenziwa and Elizabeth Valerio among others will be distant contestants