5 April 2008
HARARE, Zimbabwe (UNN) -- Responding to his slumping numbers in the polls and increasingly slim chances against popular rival Morgan Tsvangarai and his Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe assured reporters today that he was still in the race. Though Mugabe has seen his support fall drastically and has lost his front-runner status in the Zimbabwean presidential race, he has remained optimistic.
In an interview with UNN, Mugabe brushed aside his recent losses to Tsvangarai, calling them a result of "unfair caucus processes" - namely, the use of secret ballots and presence of "observers" at polling sites. He also lashed out at Tsvangarai, questioning his lack of commitment to ensuring that the votes of dead voters - which were cast against Zimbabwe Election Commission rules prohibiting postmortem votes - are counted in the final tally. Though he has lost his front runner status in the Zimbabwean presidential election, Mugabe expressed his desire to "fight on", and has stepped up campaign efforts as a result. To this end, Mugabe has planned numerous campaign events over the next few weeks, contrasting his experience as Zimbabwe's leader with that of Tsvangarai, who Mugabe calls "inexperienced". A major theme among the Mugabe campaign has been an emphasis on Mugabe's major accomplishment of the past decade - that being making all Zimbabweans multi-millionaires.
Polls for upcoming elections show Mugabe facing an uphill battle - Tsvangarai leads in the upcoming polls by a considerable amount, as Zimbabweans have rallied around his Movement for Democratic Change. If Mugabe is to win the elections, it is likely only possible through the support of superdelegates - which include many of the ZANU-PF leaders and "war veterans" who have remained staunch supporters of Mugabe. Owing to this, Mugabe has stated that he is "actively courting" the support of superdelegates - even going so far as to offer bribes to the remaining uncommitted superdelegates. Obviously, there is concern among Zimbabweans about Mugabe winning with superdelegates - with some threatening to riot if this were to happen. Others have threatened to leave Zimbabwe were superdelegates to make the difference. As such, most analysts the likelihood of superdelegates deciding the race seems rather remote unless Mugabe were to gain a majority of the popular vote - a scenario unlikely to happen without counting postmortem votes.
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|