ZIMBABWE – The leader of the little known African National Party (ANP) Egypt Dzinemunhenzva says he will defeat President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 presidential election but is not willing to discuss his strategy for now.
Pressed on to reveal his strategy to defeat Mr Mugabe, Dzinemunhenzva was evasive saying he does not want to warn his nemesis. “We have a strategy, but we are not going to reveal our strategy because it can be forged and we can be pre-empted.”
He also claimed that the ruling Zanu-PF youths might descend on him and his members and terrorize them.
Zimbabwe’s elections are dreaded by many citizens as they often lead to violence. Opposition parties often complain about state-sponsored violence resulting in massive human rights violations, including murder, rape, torture, and forced disappearances.
These human rights abuses saw western countries imposing targeted sanctions on Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle. But President Mugabe has disputed those allegations.
But many find Dzinemunhenzva as providing the much-needed comic relief in such times. In a recent article about Dzinemunhenzva, the online newspaper, New Zimbabwe.com described him as “often the subject of much-needed amusement during national elections.”
He has contested every election since the 1990s, be it presidential, parliamentary, senatorial, even the by-elections in areas as diverse as Chitungwiza, Wedza and Harare Central.
He has lost them all by very wide margins but he is always on the ballot.
Dzinemunenzva though says 2018 is the year that he will defeat President Mugabe. The ANP leader dismissed criticism that soon after the presidential elections he goes into hibernation.
Dzinemunhenzva, who is a polygamist has 13 children. His party is headquartered in Wedza, Mashonaland East province. Asked if remote Wedza is the right location for a presidential candidate, he vowed that he will not be attracted by the city lights to relocate to Harare or Bulawayo.
“Wedza is also part of Zimbabwe, we have some branches of our party in different parts of the country.”
Though many opposition parties are under pressure to form a coalition to challenge Mr. Mugabe, Dzinemunhenzva said it has to be on his terms. “I am willing to work with other parties only when they join me. I am tired of being used by other politicians.”
ECONOMIC CRISIS WORSENING
Despite its wealth of natural resources that can support job creation and increased exports, Zimbabwe faces huge economic and social barriers. Unemployment is hovering above 80 percent though the government insists the figure is inflated, preferring to settle for 11 percent.
According to the World Food Programme around 1.5 million Zimbabweans are expected to go hungry this year after a dramatic fall in maize production. Zimbabwe’s staple maize crop of 742,000 tonnes is down 53 percent from 2014-15, according to data from the South African Development Community.
Zimbabwe’s businesses lack access to finance and an inadequate infrastructure prevents the effective movement of goods. Companies operating below 39 percent have gone for years now without paying workers.
The government blames the country’s woes on sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States, New Zealand, Canada and Australia in 2002 for alleged vote rigging and rights abuses.