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Writes Mutsa Sibanda
Gwinyai Muzorewa, the President of the United African National Council (UANC) party, believes he is a God-ordained ruler on a mission to redeem the country from its persistent economic woes.
Harmonized elections are due in Zimbabwe on the 23rd of August 2023, amid a stampede by contestants to lure multitudes of the country’s church-goers into voting for them.
A total of 11 candidates are slugging it out in the presidential race while over 60 political parties have thrown their names on the ballot for the National Assembly and local government elections.
Among the presidential candidates it seems gaining the approval of the religious faithful is the sole determining factor. Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa – accompanied by top officials in his Zanu-Pf party – has been on a relentless crusade, attending various church services on Sundays to elicit their support while CCC leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa hardly misses a day without posting biblical verses on Twitter that serve his candidature.
Rev Muzorewa, who is the younger brother to the late former Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa, has joined the fray telling journalists at a Press Conference in Harare last week that the nation would be safe in his hands.
“We are the only party that upholds our liberation values, sovereignty and constitutionalism.
“I am a man of God whose leadership qualities are unquestionable. I believe that God has called me to lead this nation and to bring to life Zimbabwe’s dry bones, as prophesied by Ezekiel in the Bible (Ez.37:1-10). I have a vision of a prosperous, peaceful, and united Zimbabwe that honors God and respects human dignity,” Rev Muzorewa preached.
It is the first time Muzorewa is running in the national elections. His elder brother led the country during a relatively blissful economic period for the country between 1979 and 1980.
The younger Muzorewa promises to resurrect Zimbabwe’s fortunes in the same way.
“I am aware of the challenges that our country is facing including political instability, economic hardship, and social inequality. The current leadership has failed to address these issues, and it is time for a new direction for Zimbabwe.
“The UANC is offering a fresh perspective and a clear plan for our country’s future. Nevertheless, we need your help to make this vision a reality. I implore all Zimbabweans to unite behind the UANC and our message of hope and progress. Let us come together as a nation and work towards a brighter future for ourselves and our children.”
He said the UANC had a proud history of achievements and a promising future of possibilities.
“Our manifesto for the 2023 elections is based on four pillars: democracy, development, dialogue, and dignity. We believe that these are the essential ingredients for a successful nation. We want to restore democracy by ensuring free and fair elections, respecting the rule of law, protecting human rights, and strengthening institutions. We want to promote development by reviving the economy, creating jobs, providing social services, and investing in infrastructure. We want to foster dialogue by engaging all stakeholders, resolving conflicts peacefully, building bridges, and healing wounds. We want to uphold dignity by empowering women, youth, and minorities, fighting corruption, promoting education and culture, and celebrating diversity.”
Besides Muzorewa, Mnangagwa, and Chamisa, other notable aspirants for the country’s top job include independent candidate and former government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, academic and NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku, Douglas Mwonzora of MDC-T and Bulawayo’s only challenger Harry Wilson representing DOP.
Muzorewa pins his hopes on his Christian upbringing and religious career as a theology professor to unite the deeply politically- polarized nation.
“As a God-fearing person who values peace above all else, I pledge to govern this country with honesty, integrity, and humility. I will be accountable to God and to you, the people of Zimbabwe.
“I will listen to your voices and address your concerns. I will serve you with dedication and compassion. I will not abuse power or enrich myself at your expense. I will not oppress or persecute anyone for their political views or affiliations.
“I will not resort to violence or intimidation to silence dissent or opposition. I will respect the Constitution and the law of the land.”