By Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo Head of Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking – ZIST
Politics is a game of numbers, any political party which will garner an outright 50+ 1 vote win, will have to deploy proper strategy to occupy State House residence.
The strength of any political party is found on grassroots connectivity, and idolizing political outfits will cost any Institution.
It is not only about numbers, but it is about how those numbers are translated into votes during the by election, or in 2023 general polls.
We have witnessed huge rallies, but the question remains are those who attend these huge bumper crowds registered voters? It is estimated that less than 50 000 potential voters are registered during this new registration exercise.
Literally in 2018, after the then President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Robert Mugabe indirectly announced on the eve of elections, to vote for Nelson Chamisa, the then MDC Alliance leader. According to political scientists, this had to cost Zanu PF and Mnangagwa, at least 300 000 votes.
The Mugabe factor played a critical role in 2018 elections. To prove this, in some constituencies, people voted for a Zanu PF Member of Parliament, and at Presidential level, they gave their vote to Nelson Chamisa.
Zanu PF went back to the drawing table, and drew a matrix to consider the Mugabe factor and G 40 matrix. The roping in of Robert Mugabe Junior will bring some semblance of stability within the ruling party, and G40 at large.
We are heading towards a serious contest, and it is important to provide strategic thinking around the current political stalemate.
President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF are trying by all means to ensure that the Mugabe factor will not cost Zanu PF, and Mash West province will not be affected.
The strength of any political party is not found on huge crowds, but rather those crowds turned into potential voters.
The forth coming general polls, will result in serious contest between the Nelson Chamisa led CCC, and the ruling party Zanu PF. The youth vote factor will contribute towards the 2023 poll. There is likely to be more participation of young people in the forth coming polls. The social media factor will contribute around the current trajectory. We have key interlocutors in social media, and the approach to dissemination of information will be a major tool to both political parties. Whilst the ruling party has financial muscle, the opposition party has huge social capital around the polls, and the newly existence political outfit, CCC should never be underestimated.
To be continued next week …..
*Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is the Head of Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking – ZIST, and he can* be *contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org*