A top sympathizer of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also a regional minister, bit the dust in ZANU PF’s primary elections conducted over the weekend, setting social media on fire with some people saying the stage is set for grueling general elections to be held between July and August this year.
Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Minister, Abednico Ncube, was beaten hands down by political novice Omphile Marupi, a radio disc jockey working for the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Marupi, whose relatives have a strong background of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, faced an uphill task before the primary election as his supporters were forced to flee after Ncube’s group allegedly threatened to set their homesteads on fire.
Some people immediately reacted soon after Ncube lost to Marupi with some of them mocking Ncube and his mentor, Mnangagwa, who became Zimbabwe’s second executive president after toppling former president Robert Mugabe last November in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Order Sibanda, one of the respondents to several Facebook threads on Ncube’s fall, said, “if you are above the age of 65 forget about winning in the forthcoming general elections because this is a #generationalconsensus.
“We don’t care whether it’s ZANU PF (which l support) or opposition parties. Ncube is a good example of how we will vote in the general elections. We know that Ncube is Mnangagwa’s ally and this is a warning sign for the president. It’s our time to take the button stick from old politicians. For anyone above 65, bhora musango (abandon someone who let you down).”
Bhora musango is a campaign tool used by some disgruntled Zanu PF activists in the 2008 harmonized election which targeted Mugabe, who had become unpopular in the ruling party. He was defeated by the late Movement for Democratic Change founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the presidential election though Tsvangirai did not have enough votes to form a government. Tsvangirai abandoned the presidential run off citing widespread political violence allegedly perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters.
Andrew Mahachi echoed Sibanda’s sentiments, noting that some people who liberated Zimbabweans from white colonial domination have ruined Zimbabwe, once regarded as southern Africa’s bread basket.
Mahachi wrote in one of the Facebook threads, “You fought during the liberation struggle to liberate us but enslaved us for more than 37 years as you dined with former president Robert Mugabe. You decided last November to get rid of him in order to join the gravy train. We will not accept this anymore. If you don’t rig the elections, you will see exactly what l’m writing about here. Mnangagwa, Ncube, (Retired General Constantino) Chiwenga are all history. We want our country back from these dinosaurs.”
But a Mnangagwa supporter, using the pseudonym Mandibaya, said, “You are all day dreaming because #EDHasMyVote. I will vote for him and anyone participating in the election under the banner of Zanu PF. Forget about defeating Zanu PF. We will always win any election.”
Zanu PF used #EDHasMyVote as part of its election campaign ahead of the crucial forthcoming presidential, senatorial, parliamentary and council elections.
Another Facebook enthusiast, Cain Jongwe, shot back saying, “… Wait and see. We will beat you all in the elections hands down with our #generationalconsensus focus. We are going to vote Nelson Chamisa as the next president of Zimbabwe. Ncube, Mnangagwa and all are about to learn the hard way. We will not vote for them. MDC-T Chamisa has our future at heart.”
The MDC-T led by Chamisa, who is the MDC Alliance presidential candidate, uses #generationalconsensus in its election campaigns.