One of President Mnangagwa’s critics Walter Mzembi has warned against laughing off Zanu PF campaign gimmicks saying the party had some way of wooing especially the critical rural vote.
With the political environment heating up ahead of the 2023 general elections, the campaign team for Mnangagwa are introducing branding perfumes – named Victory Scent – to woo youth and middle class voters.
The strategy has been laughed off by opposition activists who said it was a desperate measure by Mnangagwa to hand out perfumes to hungry rural folks who need economic support more than ever.
But Mzembi, a former Cabinet Minister who was kicked out of Zanu PF in 2017, has warned against entirely dismissing Zanu PF campaign tactics.
“It is quite seductive particularly to womenfolk in rural areas, I know the impact. Don’t dismiss this as some campaign gimmick – it has a lasting impression in rural areas,” said Mzembi.
The former Environment and Tourism Minister warned however that the voting populace was disengaged from politics hence the desperation by political parties to woo votes by all means necessary as elections approach.
Meanwhile, Mzembi has advocated for the removal of sanctions saying their presence benefits Mnangagwa’s inner circle more and make them more difficult to remove from power. Zimbabwe has been under sanctions slapped by the European Union, UK and the US since 2001.
“Zimbabwe is off grid politically and economically and is not accountable to anyone. Accountability is going to be difficult until sanctions are lifted,” said Mzembi. “Even diamonds and gold are being sold through unofficial channels while hiding under the excuse of sanctions.
“One of the unintended consequences of Sanctions is the creation of a siege mentality and heightened sense of unproductive nationalism manifesting amongst us an egoistic ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,'” said Mzembi.
“We are not lobbying for the removal of sanctions for Mnangagwa but for Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa himself probably prospers more under them at a personal level. The sanctions must be removed for the country.”