Mnangagwa victory good enough to keep him on his toes for the next five years


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A Herald columnist, Igomombe, has brushed off persistent reports that Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa had a narrow victory over his rival Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance saying there is a vast different between 50 percent and 44 percent.

Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the vote against Chamisa’s 44.3 percent in the 30 July elections.

Critics and some media have interpreted Mnangagwa’s 50.8 percent as a narrow victory probably based on the fact that under the Zimbabwe constitution one has to win 50 percent of the vote plus one to be declared an outright winner.

Even then 0.8 percent is quite a huge margin as it translates to about 40 000 votes above half when only one vote above half is required.

Igombombe, believed to be Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba, said the results for the 30 July elections consolidated ZANU-PF as a party, while denying Mnangagwa smug complacency and comfort which comes with a resounding win, such as had enervated old, hoary ZANU-PF under his predecessor.

ZANU-PF won 145 seats against the MDC Alliance’s 63 with one seat going to the National Patriotic Front and another to an independent candidate.

Igomombe said Mnangagwa “has work to do, principally that of breaking a deeply set inertia, which is why the result handed him challenges him to prove, earn, grow and consolidate his claim to party leadership.

“July 30 thus gave us a result of binary proportions, both meant to consolidate continuity and change. Continuity by way of a party enjoying a comfortable two-thirds party majority. Change by way of a President who barely escaped a run-off, and who thus must bend double to break the mould of a smug, assured past which no longer serves a generation.”

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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