Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and Norton legislator Temba Mliswa says the recent actions by law enforcement agents to block rallies by opposition Citizens Convergence for Change (CCC) will only aid its prominence.
Posting on Twitter, Mliswa said the abuse that the Nelson Chamisa led outfit suffered has created an avenue for a sympathy vote from the citizens.
“What @PoliceZimbabwe has been doing in blocking opposition rallies creates a danger for the ruling party. While they may see it as a strategy to strangle @nelsonchamisa they have created an impression of the opposition as a victim to be pitied and supported. The opposition has become, not another equal player to be judged on merit and ability but a victim of state power to be judged differently.
“@CCCZimbabwe has actually gained mileage through the abuse they have suffered and resultantly as we are going towards elections there are three issues to be wary of. The sympathy vote, protest vote and generational vote. The abuse they have suffered has created sympathy for them within the political body as the electorate begins to empathise with what they have and are going through. That can translate into sympathy votes for them.
“The protest vote is simply about the electorate expressing their discontent over the prevailing socio-economic situation through the ballot. It’s about people seeking to try something new, disconsolate over a status quo which they feel is no longer responding to their needs. The protest vote could also be from within the ruling party itself and those who feel they have not benefitted after the entrance of the 2nd dispensation,” said Mliswa.
He added “The generational gap relates to the demographics of the country’s huge young population both within and outside political parties. The party that is able to accommodate and provide for the young people has an advantage. Already @ZANUPF_Official, has a problem in that area.”
Mliswa accused the ruling Zanu PF party of failing to regenerate itself by continuing with the old guard without involving young people.
“There has never been the passing of the baton stick within the party as it relates to age groups. The old guys from the liberation days have simply handed it to each other and continued in power. Resultantly the party has failed to rejuvenate itself. It has remained a party of old heroes. That could have been a positive at some point in the past but that narrative is getting past its sell-by date as the electorate becomes younger and more forward looking,” Mliswa said.