/ 16 July 2023

Zimbabwe opposition finally launches election campaign

Nelson Chamisa is not the only man guilty of sexist behaviour in politics. Sexism is sprinkled like poison across Zimbabwe’s political spectrum.
Nelson Chamisa. File phto by Jekesai Njikizana/AFP

Zimbabwe’s largest opposition party on Sunday finally managed to launch its election campaign after multiple bans of planned rallies ahead of August 23 general polls.

The southern African nation, long prone to political and economic instability, is bracing for another electoral battle between opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, and iron-fisted President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Chamisa, the 45-year-old leader of the recently formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, vowed to win despite what he said were efforts by authorities to block his rallies.

“You cannot stop an idea whose time has come,” he told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in Gweru, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) southwest of Harare.

“They can stop our meetings but they cannot stop people from loving me.”

The CCC says more than 90 of its rallies have been blocked since the party’s formation early last year.

Chamisa vowed to clamp down on corruption and said the theme of his campaign was “For Everyone”.

“There is a national grievance across the whole country. We are ushering a government which will bring opportunities for everyone.”

Mnangagwa, who replaced strongman ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 after a military-led coup, heads the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been in power since independence in 1980.

Human rights activists have accused his government of clamping down on dissent and failing to uphold basic rights.

Zimbabweans will vote in local, parliamentary, and presidential polls next month.

© Agence France-Presse