By Zimbabwe Voice Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa believes the victory in Zambia’s elections by opposition leader Hakainde Hichelema will energize his MDC Alliance support base and propel him to victory in the 2023 elections.
Chamisa made the remarks after he received a phone call Monday morning from Zambia’s President-elect Hichelema, who defeated Edgar Lungu by a crushing 1 million votes.
“I’m so humbled and excited to have received a call and personally congratulated my brother and President-elect His Excellency HHichilema,” said Chamisa.
“Join me to congratulate the people of Zambia who continue to inspire us all. We are next. Our turn as Zimbabwe is coming. We won’t disappoint! God is faithful!”
Observers say Chamisa has an uphill task if he is to win the 2023 elections considering the fragmented nature of Zimbabwe’s opposition movement. At the same time, Zanu-PF has solidified its support base with party boss Kembo Mohadi going round the country encouraging Zanu-PF supporters to register in huge numbers.
Zimbabwe’s elections are traditionally won in rural areas, where 69% of the population livee, according to World Bank data. The MDC Alliance has no structures in rural areas and relies on protest votes to win the elections.
Zanu-PF targets 5 million votes in the next elections to avoid a court battle as happened in 2018, when Chamisa narrowly lost the elections and approached the Constitutional Court. However, Chamisa’s case was unanimously dismissed as he lacked any evidence of rigging.
Meanwhile, the swearing-in of Hichilema has been set down for Tuesday this week.
It was not immediately clear if Chamisa or President Mnangagwa would attend the event, but a source close to Chamisa said yesterday that he had been invited to Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana has congratulated Hichilema for his victory in the August 12 elections. □