Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Ziso: 'Simba kaOne!'

Zimbabwe, 24 March

Simba kaOne! is the chant in the run up to Saturday. Simba One Time! It is most likely that the vote will lead to a run-off for the presidential election between the final two candidates. Simba kaOne! is a battle-cry for a landslide victory by the Makoni campaign and a New Dawn (Mavambo) for Zimbabwean politics, but the struggle for first place will probably continue with a run-off in another three weeks. Which two will remain in the game is the big question.

Fay Chung interviewed by ZBC at a rally in EpworthMakoni’s Harare rally was postponed from morning to afternoon, and then to the next day. Rumour has it there are security risks. His rallies outside of town have met with more hostility than the relatively calm urban centres. In fact, ZANU supporters are not to be seen in town at all. 2005’s Murambatsvina (Operation Clean up) made winning back the urban vote impossible and the ruling party is focusing its attention on the 70% rural electorate. Outside the city, ZANU food hand-outs are scheduled at the same time as Makoni rallies and road blocks make rural canvassing difficult. In the city, everyone is desperate to catch a glimpse of the Golden Boy. Tuesday’s rally will be the last real chance before campaigning ends.

Today Fay Chung supported a rally of the indomitable Margaret Dongo. Dongo is an outspoken ZANU war-vet who famously broke from the party in 1995 and, to ZANU’s shock and amazement, won her seat in Sunningdale as an independent candidate. She was Zimbabwe’s first independent MP and the first female leader of a political party. She speaks passionately about how women have a far greater role to play within our patriarchal society and lives by her word. A truly original character, it is her precedent that Makoni is following as a brave stand-alone candidate without a party. If he wins he’ll be the first president in recent history to win a campaign without a political party! Simba kaOne!

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