Zimbabwe is readying for the country’s first post-Mugabe elections, and plenty of new parties have sprung up to compete. There’s just one problem: The parties are having trouble finding money to join the race.
At 40 years old and head of the main opposition bloc, Nelson Chamisa is the face of the Movement For Democratic Change Alliance in Zimbabwe. But he has called into question whether the country’s electoral commission has correctly prepared the ballot for the July 30 presidential election – and he says he won’t participate until his concerns are addressed.
Sitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa led a military intervention against longtime President Robert Mugabe, but he also served for years as Mugabe’s top deputy. Now, Zimbabweans going to the polls wonder which Mnangagwa they’re voting for.
Under former President Robert Mugabe, who was ousted from office in November after nearly four decades of authoritarian rule, Zimbabwe’s economy fell apart so badly that economists today are challenged even to calculate the country’s astronomical unemployment rate. With structural problems and long-standing friction between the country’s major population groups, presidential candidates and citizens alike are wondering how to address the persistent lack of jobs.
Despite an extensive policy platform and a resume including a stint as deputy prime minister, much of the public attention on the presidential candidacy of Thokozani Khupe has focused on her identity. She’s Ndebele and a woman, and both of those make her an outlier in Zimbabwe’s public life – as well as a target.
Ambrose Mutinhiri is angling to be the heir to ousted President Robert Mugabe, but to prove his loyalty, he had to leave the party Mugabe that led for decades. Mutinhiri says Mugabe has rewarded that loyalty with his support. Now, he hopes Zimbabweans will reward him with their votes.
Bribery, kickbacks and other forms of corruption are common in Zimbabwe, and many Zimbabweans say they’d like to rid their country of the problem. At the same time, they acknowledge that, at times, they benefit from the system as is.
Former President Robert Mugabe promised radical change and improvement for education in Zimbabwe, but his 37-year rule bequeathed a system that still leaves most students unable to pass state exams. Candidates in the July 30 presidential election are offering a broad spectrum of policies to raise the quality of education in Zimbabwe.