Opposition urged to focus on winning people’s hearts

Opposition parties must focus on winning the hearts of the people ahead of the crucial 2023 harmonised elections instead of clamouring for electoral reforms which the ZANU-PF-led government is not willing to implement.

The call comes hard on the heels of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s remarks over the weekend that his party would win next year’s plebiscite with or without electoral reforms.

Speaking Tuesday during a discussion on electoral reforms on This Morning on Asakhe, an online programme hosted by CITE on Twitter Spaces, one of the participants, only identified as Njabulo urged the opposition to focus on winning the support of the electorate.

“We have been dealing with ZANU-PF since 1980 and ZANU-PF has never changed,” said Njabulo.

“It can change the laws, but itself, it will never change and it finds ways of manipulating the system. So I think in order for the opposition to win, they shouldn’t really focus on electoral reforms but on winning the hearts of the people.”

He said should that happen then the electorate would resoundingly vote for them and defend their vote at the end of the day.

 “What makes CCC to be winning these smaller elections, the by-elections it’s because people are there, people on the ground,” he said.

He added that even if reforms were to be put in place, ZANU-PF would not implement them citing devolution which has remained a pipe dream nine years since its adoption in the 2013 constitution

One participant, identified as BBG Mpofu, however, said he was of the view that electoral reforms have to be in place to level the playing field.

“I think more is needed on electoral forms,” he said.

“We can’t just relax and say at the end of the day we have numbers, we are going to win. I think we still have to revisit the issue of the electoral reforms.”

Another participant said it was sad that Zimbabwe’s elections have always been associated with violence.

“We are facing, and we’ve been facing, a very deep-seated, kleptocratic, rotten ZANU-PF, which is why we are here, which is why we keep coming back to violence prior to elections, which is why we’re coming back to this conversation again,” she said.

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