Challenging ZANU-PF: The Road Ahead for Zimbabwe’s Opposition in 2023 Elections

February 2, 2023
| Report Focus News
Supporters of Zimbabwean main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa attend his rally in Harare, Sunday, Feb. 20,2022. Chamisa drew thousands of people at his first political rally since forming a new party weeks ago, as the country gears for elections that had been postponed due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

As Zimbabwe prepares for the 2023 general elections, it is clear that the opposition, led by Nelson Chamisa, must approach the election with a new strategy and political wit if they hope to unseat the ruling ZANU-PF party. Simply relying on unrealistic promises, such as “spaghetti roads,” and using Twitter to tweet scriptures will not be enough.

To effectively challenge ZANU-PF, the opposition must present a clear and realistic vision for the country, one that addresses the pressing issues faced by the people of Zimbabwe. This vision must be based on a thorough understanding of the country’s problems and a concrete plan to address them.
Additionally, the opposition must demonstrate a willingness to engage with all segments of society and build broad-based support for their vision. This means reaching out to communities across the country, listening to their concerns, and working together to develop solutions.
The opposition must also show that they have the political savvy to effectively challenge ZANU-PF and its well-established political machine. This means developing an effective communication strategy, building strong coalitions with other political parties, and being prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
It is not enough to rely on the hope that there is anger and resentment against Zanu PF from some urban voters who are facing power cuts and water shortages.

Tweeting scriptures and sharing pictures of spaghetti junctions is clearly not a strategy.

The opposition particularly the CCC must be willing to make bold and unpopular decisions if necessary to achieve their goals. This requires courage, conviction, and a willingness to put the interests of the country above personal or political considerations.
If the opposition wants to be successful in the 2023 elections, they must present a clear and realistic vision for the country, demonstrate a willingness to engage with all segments of society, show political savvy, and be willing to make bold decisions. Zimbabweans deserve a government that truly represents their interests and addresses the challenges they face.

Indeed, the leader of CCC, Nelson Chamisa, has been criticized for lacking a clear and effective strategy to challenge ZANU-PF in the 2023 elections. Despite his charisma and popularity among some segments of the population, he has been unable to make significant inroads into the rural areas of Zimbabwe where ZANU-PF has a strong hold.
Complaining about not being allowed to reach out and campaign in the rural areas is a used up phrase and a viable tactic must now be put in motion.

Indeed one of the major challenges for Chamisa and his party is their lack of presence in rural areas, where the majority of Zimbabwe’s population lives. ZANU-PF has long maintained a strong grip on rural communities through a combination of patronage, intimidation, and control of traditional leaders. This has made it difficult for the opposition to make inroads and build support in these areas.

To this day there is no clear strategy on how to combat or counter Zanu PF in that regard.

Chamisa has also been criticized for his lack of a clear and comprehensive policy platform. While he has been effective at using social media to rally his supporters, he has struggled to articulate a coherent and concrete plan for how he would address the challenges faced by Zimbabweans if elected. There have been loud criticism on corruption in the country but no real action or clear cut evidence and examples of how this corruption is happening and who is behind it.

This has left many voters uncertain about what a government led by him would look like and what it would do to address their concerns.

Furthermore, Chamisa has been unable to effectively challenge ZANU-PF’s well-established political machine. Despite being well-organized and having a dedicated base of supporters, the opposition has been unable to match the resources and infrastructure that ZANU-PF has at its disposal. This has made it difficult for Chamisa to effectively reach voters and build a broad-based coalition of support.

If Chamisa and the opposition hope to be successful in the 2023 elections, they must address these weaknesses and develop a clear and effective strategy to challenge ZANU-PF. This will require building a strong presence in rural areas, articulating a clear policy platform, and effectively challenging ZANU-PF’s political machine. The future of Zimbabwe depends on it.