All three presidential candidates in the Zimbabwean elections have launched their campaigns for elections scheduled for the end of this month. The newcomer is Simba Makone who broke away from Zanu PF to challenge Robert Mugabe. The other challenger is Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition party, MDC.
A change in the political climate is partially attributed to the dialogue between ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC. The talks were mediated by South Africa. But Analyst say that, despite some improvements in the political climate, there are already indications that these elections will not be seen as free and fair by Western countries.
Sydney Masamvu, a Senior Analyst with the Southern Africa project of the International Crisis Group, told Nightline’s Akwei Thompson that the Makoni defection underlines the implosion in the ZANU-PF. “There is a deep seated disgruntlement about the continued leadership of Robert Mugabe,” he said.
Masamvu said “Makoni’s cross appeal and his entry into the political arena will cause…the realignment of voters…,”
Mugabe’s decision to not invite Western countries to observe the election, Masamvu said, “underlines the fact that, we are actually heading for another stalemate, where this election will be condemned as flawed by the western community which is not invited.”