BULAWAYO – Respected lawyer David Coltart has said Zanu PF will drop parliamentary seats in the coming election as the revolutionary party struggles to assert its authority under the new leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
While Coltart appeared optimistic that the ruling party had far much better chances to win the election, mostly due to the leadership uncertainty in the main opposition party fuelled by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s health woes, he said Mnangagwa cannot win a free and fair election.
“Mnangagwa will do well in Masvingo and Midlands provinces, I don’t think he will do well in Matabeleland North and South,” Coltart said.
“He may battle to get the same number of votes in Mashonaland Central, East and West but Manicaland is up for grabs, it’s hard to tell which way it will go because there were strong G40 people and there were also strong Mnangagwa people,” he said.
The former Education minister went on to suggest that the traditional strong base support of the opposition in the urban centres has somehow waned ever since Mnangagwa took over the presidency in November last year.
“The big question is what happens to the middle and working class who live in the main cities Bulawayo and Harare. I think the MDC’s grip on those cities has slipped and Mnangagwa is able to convince particularly young voters that he can turn the economy around.
“He may get support from those areas. It seems to me that there are lots of people, the working class and professionals are prepared to give Mnangagwa a chance. So that means it may be difficult for Zanu PF to win majority parliamentary seats,” he said.
Coltart said Tsvangirai’s failing health was a blessing to Mnangagwa but was quick to dismiss People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) president Joice Mujuru and Alliance of Peoples Agenda (APA) leader Nkosana Moyo as of no match to the Zanu PF leader.
“Turning to the presidential election, because of the fact that the opposition is in trouble given Tsvangirai’s health and given Joice Mujuru’s and Nkosana Moyo’s relative silence, I think Mnangagwa has probably a better chance of winning the presidential election than Zanu PF has of winning an outright majority seats,” he said.
“As they say, a week is a long time in politics, there is a long way to go, it maybe that a strong charismatic leader emerges from the opposition or that Tsvangirai, as we all hope, sees a turnaround in his recovery and starts a dramatic strong campaign.
“But generally, I think Mnangagwa will struggle to win a free and fair election.”