Friday , June 14 2024

As he began his party’s campaign for the national elections scheduled for August 23, Nelson Chamisa, the leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition, made promises of prosperity in the economy and the eradication of corruption.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the 80-year-old president of the ruling Zanu-PF party, has been in office since a coup forced Robert Mugabe from office in 2017. Chamisa, the head of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), is challenging Mnangagwa.

In the city of Gweru, roughly 300 kilometers to the east of the capital Harare, the 45-year-old politician, attorney, and preacher launched his “For Everyone” campaign, promising to end the persistent economic issues in the nation.

After 43 years of democracy, Chamisa bemoaned the lack of progress in the nation, saying there was little to show for it.

“All we see is poverty, unemployment and millions going to the diaspora,” Chamisa told thousands of supporters gathered at a stadium in the city.

Supporters clad in the party’s yellow regalia braved chilly weather to attend the rally following sustained efforts by the police and judiciary to ban opposition party rallies.

“They have been banning our campaigns, but no one will ban us from people’s hearts,” Chamisa said to thunderous applause.

Chamisa pledged to combat widespread corruption and the ruling class’s abuse of the nation’s riches, saying that everyone should profit from the country’s natural wealth.

Having joined the CCC at the beginning of the year, this is Chamisa’s second presidential run.

He ran for president of Zimbabwe for the first time in 2018, losing to incumbent Mnangagwa by a razor-thin margin.

Chamisa said his party would remain vigilant against electoral malpractice. “We will not accept a rigged election this time,” he said, promising other reforms including improved salaries for the civil service.

With widespread support for both Mnangagwa and Chamisa, the 2018 general election is anticipated to be close.

To attract traditional Zanu-PF supporters, Chamisa intends to expand his campaign to rural areas.

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