Political analysts say former ZANU PF Politburo member Saviour Kasukuwere has no chance of winning the presidential election race set for 23 August 2023.
Kasukuwere, currently self-exiled in South Africa, is reportedly planning to return to Zimbabwe to run for president.
Political analysts who spoke to The NewsHawks said Kasukuwere does not stand a chance to win the presidential election, but he could divide the ZANU PF vote thereby benefitting CCC leader Nelson Chamisa in the race.
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said:
I think the media is over-hyping the Kasukuwere entry into the presidential race in the sense that he is being overrated.
He has been disconnected from the grassroots for half a decade and whatever ties he had with communities have decidedly weakened except on Twitter platforms and this is a minute segment of the electorate.
In light of this, I doubt that he will make a significant and compelling impact on the political dynamics, whether at the national level or in respect of the two main political parties.
In the outside chance that he is impactful, I speculate that he will eat into his former party’s electoral base (i.e., ZANU PF) by splitting that support base and thus somewhat benefiting Nelson Chamisa and his CCC.
Professor of world politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Stephen Chan, said:
This (Kasukuwere’s presidential bid) will have no effect on the final vote. Kasukuwere doesn’t have the well-oiled ZANU PF machine on his side.
His candidature is of interest, however, not in terms of his being a “spoiler”, but in terms of what he might say about the internal faults of ZANU PF.
Political analyst Vivid Gwede said:
He might misjudge his clout, if he thinks that he would be anything other than a distant third, whose contribution at best is to lead to a runoff amongst the main contenders CCC and ZANU PF.
But he is more likely to eat into the traditional ZANU PF support base, his erstwhile home, and make its precarious position worse and more assured of defeat in this election.
A crucial fact is that new voters registered aware of or persuaded by his late, but less-than-momentous entry into the race.
Kasukuwere’s political history is quintessentially ZANU PF and that is where his supporters are.
Kasukuwere has, however, not yet disclosed if he will field parliamentary, council, and senatorial candidates in the 23 August elections.