President Mnangagwa confident of election victory
Kwekwe (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday he was confident of winning general elections underway in the country and urged voters to be peaceful throughout the vote.
The country was electing a new president, and parliamentary and local government representatives on Wednesday in a one-day vote in which nine presidential aspirants are challenging the incumbent.
Exuding confidence after voting in his home area in central Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa cited the opposition’s failure to field candidates for the local government segment of the poll in his constituency as a clear indication of its weakness and unlikelihood to win.
He is leading the ruling Zanu-PF party in the election, widely acknowledged as lest marred by violence or acrimony at the campaign stage.
“They (opposition) did not field a councillor because Zanu PF is very strong here. No one would want to lose their money for nothing when they know they will lose. This is where I stay, and it is primarily Zanu PF. Those who have nothing to lose can come forward, while those who are cautious won’t,” he said.
“I have done my duty as a citizen of the country, besides who will be the president of this country,” he said after voting.
A number of pre-election surveys have also put President Mnangagwa clearly ahead of his challengers, riding on the wave of the positive impact the government’s massive economic and social infrastructure development projects has had on millions across the country in the last five years.
These include, among other things, huge investments in new power generation to end electricity rationing, dam construction for irrigation and hydropower, and road and other transport infrastructure upgrades.
He has also been lauded for coming up with economic reforms that have attracted billions in direct local and foreign investment in his first presidential term.
His main challenger is Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party, who wove his election campaign around criticising the government for the economic headwinds the country has lately experienced, particularly exchange rate volatility.
But the economic difficulties are largely a result of sanctions the West has imposed on Zimbabwe, over the last two decades, in a bid to force the government to reverse its land reforms under which excess farmland was compulsorily taken away from white farmers to resettle landless blacks.
President Mnangagwa hailed the peace prevailing in the country and urged voters to continue maintaining the harmony whatever the election outcome.
Over six million voters are registered to take part in the poll, which is being witnessed by hundreds of local, regional and international election observers.
Voting is due to end at 7 o’clock in the evening, immediately after which vote counting is expected to start.
But results are expected within five days of voting.