Zimbabwe is preparing for a highly contested presidential election.
- Disqualified candidate Saviour Kasukuwere urges Zimbabweans not to vote for Emmerson Mnangagwa.
- Elisabeth Valerio, the only female candidate, believes that voting for the same individuals will not bring about change.
- Lovemore Madhuku promises to be a president who supports the poor.
The upcoming Zimbabwean general elections are primarily a competition between Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, but they are not the only candidates on the ballot.
Ten other candidates are hoping to win over voters. Saviour Kasukuwere, a former member of Zanu-PF who was disqualified from running, has encouraged Zimbabweans to vote for anyone other than Mnangagwa.
In an interview with News24, he stated: “I have reservations about one candidate, Mnangagwa. He is not fit to lead this country. People can choose to vote for anyone else.”
Although there are officially 11 candidates, with the withdrawal of Douglas Mwonzora, his name remains on the ballot paper.
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Mwonzora expressed his discontent with the general elections, claiming that 87 of his parliamentary candidates were disqualified.
While Mnangagwa and Chamisa have dominated the media’s attention, some of the lesser-known candidates in the race have attempted to influence voters despite their slim chances of winning.
Elisabeth Valerio, the only woman running for president, is likely to secure a distant third place. She joined the race at the last minute after taking the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to court for disqualifying her due to allegations of late payment of the $20,000 (approximately R370,000) nomination fee.
Throughout this month, she has been campaigning extensively. In an interview, she said:
I am the only candidate who truly understands the needs of the people.
“We cannot keep voting for the same individuals every five years and expect a different future. We need to give Zimbabwe the opportunity to progress,” Valerio added.
Joseph Busha, leader of the Free Zimbabwe Congress, emphasizes that the winner should prioritize the country’s interests.
He stated: “Regardless of who among us wins, I urge them to prioritize the interests of the country above personal ambitions. Our greatest challenge is the economy.”
The National Constitutional Assembly’s Professor Lovemore Madhuku is also running for president.
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa.
Madhuku believes that under Zanu-PF’s leadership, only the ruling elite benefit from economic prosperity.
“I stand for the poor, and under Zanu-PF, policies do not favor the people,” he added.
The other candidates in the race are Blessing Kasiyamhuru from the Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity, Harry Peter Wilson from the Democratic Opposition Party, Trust Chikohora from the Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development, Henry Muzorehwa from the United African National Council, and Wilbert Mubaiwa from the National People’s Congress.
All of the candidates have expressed their desire for peaceful elections.
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