Zambian election bring false hope to the MDC Alliance

Rutendo Jiri

The MDC Alliance has been gripped by false hope of winning the forthcoming 2023 Presidential elections in the manner Zambia’s now President; Hakainde Hichilema defeated former President, Edgar Lungu in the just ended elections.

The opposition would be the more encouraged because President Hichilema for the past two decades had been fighting in the opposition corner without victory.

President Hichilema finally defeated former President Lungu after securing 2, 810, 777 votes against 1, 814, 201 respectively, out of 7 million registered voters.

While congratulatory and solidarity messages are on their way to celebrate together the will of the Zambian people’s vote, it is the manner in which Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC Alliance is taking President Hichilama’s win personal that seems rather awkward.

Following President Hichilama’s election victory, the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa posted on his social media account his congratulatory messages highlighting that their hope had been renewed and would certainly win come 2023!

“I’m so humbled and excited to have received a call and personally congratulated my brother and President-elect HE @HHichilema. Join me to congratulate the people of Zambia who continue to inspire us all. Our turn as Zimbabwe is coming. We won’t disappoint! God is faithful!” posted Chamisa on his Twitter handle.

Who is to blame him for being hopeful! But Zimbabwe is certainly not Zambia and the Zimbabwean election has always disappointed many who would have thought they would outrun the old horsemen who man the revolutionary party- ZANU PF.

To the MDC Alliance, the Zambian election outcome is seen as a signal of the glad tidings to come, if they can maintain their faith!

What the opposition seems to forget is that, unlike Zambia and Malawi where they are currently gaining hope from, Zimbabwe’s election history has been determined not by social media popularity as hoped for by the opposition. The MDC Alliance perceives itself to be popular and loved by the people because of their social media popularity.

Nelson Chamisa currently has 830 000 twitter followers while President Emmerson Mnangagwa has 759 000 followers.

This seems to be one key factor Nelson Chamisa uses to think he has the support of Zimbabweans, but he forgets that most of his social media followers are not even registered to vote and even if some where registered, most of them would not soldier on in the hot sun to cast their vote preferring to be glued on social media following and liking trending fashion images.

While ZANU PF is trailing behind on social media following, it does not affect the voting numbers because, come elections day, the majority party’s voters will not be on social media, but right in the queues.

These are mostly the far from social media frenzy- the rural vote- which has now been popularised and represented by Uzumba Marambapfungwe!

Indeed Uzumba is the nemeses of the opposition come Election Day! This has seen renewed efforts by the MDC Alliance to try and penetrate the rural area to convince the elderly to vote for them- alas the elders know where they belong to and where their sugar comes from.

Judging by the outlook of not only the rural vote, even the urban vote which the opposition has traditionally enjoyed, might come as a shock to the MDC Alliance because of how the opposition has exposed itself as incompetent to manage the country’s affairs.

Currently, ZANU PF has had to step in to help the urban council administration which has seen the opposition fail to deliver basic water, rehabilitate road and collect refuse in major cities such as Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo.

In the face of a massive urban development of roads and infrastructure, the urban vote is slowly being won over and come 2023, the opposition will once again shocked as to how they were popular on social media but far from the people’s needs and aspirations.

ZANU PF combined with massive urban development and tangible rural based programs such as Pfumvudza and the Presidential inputs scheme, the opposition hopes would forever be shuttered and will forever send congratulatory messages to neighbouring countries where the opposition likely has a plan!