One of the brains behind the National Patriotic Front (NPF), Patrick Zhuwao, has called on the party’s presidential candidate, Brig-Gen Ambrose Mutinhiri (RTD), to withdraw from the race and root for MDC Alliance leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
Zhuwao said a critical analysis of the NPF’s preparedness ahead of the polls shows that it has no chance, ‘even in hell’, to win the watershed elections.
President Mnangagwa and Chamisa are touted the major belligerents in the watershed poll set for July 30.
Donors are also understood to have threatened to withhold the purse-strings if Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri pressed ahead with his campaign for the presidency.
This is despite the fact that soliciting foreign funding is not allowed under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
NPF founders have been taking turns to abandon their fledgling outfit after realising that cyclone ZANU-PF is unstoppable following a combination of highly subscribed rallies across the country and a massive improvement in the country’s economic fortunes since November last year that has seen solid investment commitment of up to $20 billion.
Prof Moyo became the first to support Adv Chamisa.
Curiously, Prof Moyo used to ridicule the MDC-T during his time in ZANU-PF and Government, accusing the party of being fronts for Westerners.
His ally, Zhuwao, has also abandoned their political outfit and is attempting to stifle democracy by encouraging Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri to withdraw his candidature and support Adv Chamisa.
Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri is one of the 23 presidential aspiring candidates who successfully filed their nomination papers recently.
Zhuwao said while Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri played a key role in setting up the NPF’s structures, it was prudent for him to back Adv Chamisa, who he believes has better chances of putting up a strong fight in the elections.
“My letter to you Sir, seeks to plead with you to withdraw your nomination as a presidential candidate in the 2018 general election.
“My plea is . . . in the light of a rational and material analysis of the prevailing balance of forces within the Zimbabwean political environment,” said Zhuwao.
In effectively ruling out the NPF’s chances in the polls, Zhuwao quoted the late Otto van Bismarck’s interview of August 11, 1867 with Friedrich Meyer von Waldeck of the St. Petersburgische Zeitung.
Bismarck, in the interview, was quoted as saying: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.”
Bizarrely likening cabal as patriots, Zhuwao said they hoped that Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri would not mount a strong campaign for the presidency so as to defeat the ZANU-PF candidate, President Mnangagwa.
“But alas, that dream proved not possible. That wish is not attainable.
“For any political party’s presidential bid to be credible, it must be supported by a full complement of 60 senatorial candidates, 210 candidates for constituency members of the National Assembly, 60 candidates for the women’s quota members of the National Assembly, 80 candidates for Provincial Council, and 1,958 candidates for local authority councillors.
“Such a strong representation effectively means there would be someone campaigning in all parts of the country for that party’s presidential candidate.
“The results of the nomination courts on 14th June 2018 are not good for the NPF,” said Zhuwao.
NPF only fielded candidates in 95 out of 210 National Assembly constituencies; nominated 20 out of 60 senators; 15 out of 80 provincial councillors; 14 out of 60 women’s quota; and 78 out of the 1 958 councillors.
Zhuwao said the number of candidates fielded by NPF implies the party cannot mount a strong bid for the presidency and cannot defeat the incumbent.
He said the party’s “well-wishers and potential donors” keen to pour resources into the NPF have repeatedly raised the issue of under representation and unpopularity of the candidate.
“Most people that have sufficient resources to contribute to any campaign are usually gifted with the capacity to conduct dispassionate and objective analyses.
“Such analyses invariably invite the conclusion that it is futile to contribute to the NPF presidential campaign.
“However, there is a glimmer of hope in that some well-wishers and donors would like to support NPF legislators and councillors,” said Zhuwao.
The donors are understood to be interested in supporting the NPF financially, which is against the country’s laws, only if the presidential candidate has withdrawn.
“This is the lesser of the two reasons why I am pleading with you, General Mutinhiri, to please withdraw from the presidential election.
“The second, and more important reason recognises that while you will indeed to get some votes, they will not be enough to make an outright winner.
“There is a possibility that your participation will result in a run-off.
“Another reality is that the two main contenders for the presidency are (Adv) Chamisa and (President) Mnangagwa,” said Zhuwao.
He said Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri’s participation would deny Adv Chamisa the NPF vote and hand victory to President Mnangagwa “on a silver platter”.
Zhuwao and other G40 cabal kingpins formed the NPF after being fired from the revolutionary ZANU-PF for behaviour inconsistent with their portfolios, in a bid to scuttle ZANU-PF First Secretary and national President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to win the July 30 polls by a landslide.
Apart from Grace Mugabe, the trio of Zhuwao, Kasukuwere and Prof Moyo skipped the country after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) launched Operation Restore Legacy, which targeted “criminals surrounding” former President Robert Mugabe.
After meeting former President Mugabe at his Borrowdale mansion, Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri was announced as the interim leader of the NPF but in no time, squabbles started rocking the political outfit.
Kasukuwere has reportedly broken ranks with the other NPF founders, and recently opted to return home.
This left Prof Moyo, Grace Mugabe and Zhuwao as the chief architects of the NPF.