Zimbabweans living in Namibia have called for cool heads to prevail following the recently completed Presidential and Parliamentary election on 30 July won by ZANU PF and its leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The ruling party, ZANU PF, romped to victory in the country’s first election post-Mugabe, who had ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1980 and engaged in policies that have left his country’s economy in shambles.
In spite of independent election observer confirmation that the process was free and fair, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa continues to claim that the election was ‘rigged’ in favour of ZANU PF and Mnangagwa who will be inaugurated on Sunday.
MDC’s unproven claims of a stolen election led to violence on Zimbabwe’s streets and clashes with the military that left at least six people dead.
Several Zimbabweans resident in Namibia who spoke to the Windhoek Observer this week, said it was imperative for their fellow citizens to focus on the “reconstruction of the economy and the country.”
Mnangagwa supporter, Ambros-Trust Mutongomanya, urged his community to move forward because the elections were free and fair.
“For the sake of moving forward, we need to do away with emotions, there are a lot of opinions going around. Let us give Mnangagwa a chance and see what he has to offer. As the interim president, he made sure people had an opportunity to make a choice and that speaks volumes.
“He promised people that change was coming. He was prepared to leave if he had lost. From the beginning, Mnangagwa has had the best interests of the people. He is ready to take Zimbabwe out of the gutter, let him lead,” Mutongomanya said.
He applauded Mnangagwa for his maturity and wisdom, adding that Chamisa was being blinded by emotions and thus would not be able to run the country if given the chance.
“Emotions do not run a country, the moment you start running on emotions, no good comes from it,” he said.
He condemned Chamisa for announcing that he had won the July election minutes after casting his vote and before voting had ended.
In his view, the opposition leader is not in touch with reality.
“Looking at Chamisa’s promises to the people, one can see that he is not a realistic person. How do you promise bullet trains and free WIFI when people’s basic needs are not being met? I decided to cast my vote for Mnangagwa because he is promising a livelihood which includes food and jobs.
“Chamisa has charisma and the right energy to bring in the masses, but if the energy is emotional and immature, it puts the country in a precarious position.”
Mutongomanya condemned the violence that erupted in Harare last week, saying it was uncalled for and wrong.
Lucia Bopoto, who is also a Mnangagwa supporter, said she was happy with the election outcome.
“I believe that Zimbabwe has a better future with Mnangagwa as its leader than Chamisa because during the short time that he has been interim president he has managed to re-engage the international community which is something we needed,” Bopoto said.
She said she was surprised by Chamisa’s decision to challenge the election outcome, saying the youthful opposition leader was grasping at straws because he is scared of becoming irrelevant.
“He is trying to buy time; he is probably trying to get a government of national unity. If he was a sensible person, he would use the next five years to build on the crowd that he has already mobilized.”
Bopoto said she was optimistic about Zimbabwe’s future seeing that the international community is keen on re-engaging Harare.
MDC Alliance supporter, Elisha Chambara, however, said he was dismayed by the outcome of the elections which he said was not a true reflection of the will of the Zimbabwean people at large.
“People voted for change in the form of Chamisa, but those rigged results did not reflect that. Chamisa won the popular vote. The poll results were fake,” an angry Chambara said.
“Our future is doomed as long as we have ZANU PF in power. These guys have been in power for the past 38 years and see where we are as a nation. We have been reduced to beggars, vendors and living at the mercy of others.”
Another Windhoek-based Zimbabwean, who asked not to be named, congratulated Chamisa for his performance at the polls.
“Chamisa put up a good show and I am very happy with his party’s performance. It will keep the governing party alert. The outcome was predictable. There is massive unemployment, cash shortage, etc in urban areas and what we saw was a protest vote.
“In rural areas where the majority of the people are, many people have benefited from the land reform and they voted to protect their land. Chamisa’s challenge is well within the Constitution and like any other candidate, he has the right to challenge the outcome if he so wishes. I am optimistic that Zimbabwe will rise like the proverbial phoenix,” the Zimbabwean national said.