By Gabriel Gidi
In June 2008 there was a belief that Simba Makoni had a chance of winning the Presidential election. People invested their votes in him. He garnered 8.3% of the valid votes. It turned out that these votes were the difference between Tsvangirai winning a majority in the first round and the country going to a run-off.
There are clear parallels between the situation in 2008 and the situation today. I am not suggesting that Makoni was a bad presidential candidate in 2008. But that he was not a viable candidate. He did not have a realistic chance of winning the election.
The coalition between Welshman Ncube and Dumiso Dabengwa creates a situation similar to the 2008 scenario. It brings into the election a presidential candidate with little or no chance of winning the 2013 election; a candidate whose share of the vote will be small but significant in stopping the march to a new Zimbabwe. There are people who are planning on investing their votes in Welshman Ncube as a presidential candidate.
While there is nothing to suggest that Ncube is a bad presidential candidate there is clear evidence that he has no realistic chance of winning the July 31 election. Whether we like it or not this election is a two horse race between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. The other candidates are just spoilers. This has nothing to do with abilities or inabilities of Welshman Ncube as a candidate but reflects the realities on the ground.
Recent utterances by Dabengwa in Chikomba should concern all those who are trying to vote for change. He claimed that he supported Makoni in 2008 in order to block the imminent win by Tsvangirai. Dabengwa is reported to have said, “I think we achieved what we had set ourselves to achieve and that is to make sure Morgan did not win that election…”
One can read in this that Dabengwa knew that Makoni was not going to win election but wanted to stop the march towards a new Zimbabwe. Dabengwa has chosen to endorse and support Welshman Ncube knowing very well that he has no chance of winning the presidential election. Is this another attempt to stop Tsvangirai from winning the election? I believe it is.
I advise the people of Zimbabwe not to vote for Welshman Ncube as a presidential candidate. Our target in this election is to stop Zanu (PF) from holding on to power again. We should not help that party rig elections by voting for Ncube whose agenda is to stop Tsvangirai winning the election.
The selfishness exhibited by Dabengwa in 2008 appears to be the same selfishness driving Ncube in 2013. Dabengwa hoped to get into government through the back door by ensuring that there was no overall winner of the 2008 presidential election. It would appear Ncube is hoping for a similar outcome.
Voting for Ncube is voting for Robert Mugabe. While the people who will vote for him are not directly voting for Robert Mugabe they are definitely giving Robert Mugabe an advantage. I know that all people who are planning to vote for Ncube want change; they want a new Zimbabwe. The people voting for Ncube are patriotic Zimbabweans who are fed up with Zanu (PF) rule. It is for these reasons that they should make the difficult decision to support the only viable alternative to Mugabe.
Tsvangirai has enough nationwide support to defeat Mugabe. No other candidate in this election has the national stature to win against Mugabe. Despite loud pronouncements that Ncube is in this election to win it, we all know that he can only come a distant third to Tsvangirai and Mugabe. Makoni has put the nation before his ambition and has endorsed Tsvangirai.
Makoni is arguably the best President that Zimbabwe never had but he is not selfish. He knows that the democratic struggle is about removing the thieving, corrupt and murdering Zanu (PF) regime from power. He also knows that the man capable of removing Mugabe at this present time is Tsvangirai. He is the most popular political party leader in Zimbabwe at this time.
A friend once said ‘I absolutely hate Tsvangirai but I am going to vote for him and the MDC in order to remove Zanu(PF) from power’. This is the attitude that Zimbabweans need in this election. In order to make our votes count against Zanu (PF) we must vote for Tsvangirai. Make your vote count!
This article was originally published in The Zimbabwean newspaper
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