President Robert Mugabe’s newest challenger Nkosana Moyo has expressed admiration for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa while likening ongoing plans to form a pre-election pact among opposition parties as an attempt to rig elections.
“In my view, a coalition is like rigging an election,” Moyo told a handful of people at a Bulawayo hotel Friday.
“It’s depriving the electorate the option of choosing the leader they want. As a citizen, I want to be able to choose and vote for my own candidate. Don’t go around combining people and presenting people with a pre-cooked list of candidates.”
Zimbabwe’s mainstream and fringe parties have pulled all the stops to combine their grassroot support in attempts to gain numerical advantage over their common rival, Zanu PF.
The plans have been dismissed by President Mugabe who has derisively said this was tantamount to adding a chain of zeros in the vain hope of getting a solid number.
Mugabe has been joined in the disdainful talk by his former cabinet minister, Moyo, who ditched the Zanu PF led government for South Africa 2001.
“Let’s allow leaders to go to the election and persuade the citizens,” said the former Industry and International Trade Minister.
“Let’s have as any parties as possible taking part in an election. What are we afraid of? It’s the citizen’s right to be told what is being offered and they choose. Zimbabweans are smart enough to choose their leaders.”
Moyo’s comments have been dismissed by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who has suggested the former African Development Bank vice president was too elitist and would not turn heads deep in the country’s less sophisticated remote villages.
Turning to Zanu PF internal squabbles, Moyo said Mnangagwa was best suited to take the country forward.
“I know VP Mnangagwa. I know he is a smart Zimbabwean and I respect him. I know he would run the country differently but I didn’t endorse him. It’s just a statement of fact,” he said.
Moyo, who commands respect among the country’s intelligentsia, has denied being a Zanu PF front unleashed onto the political market to cause confusion among voters.
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