Zimbabwe News

Political analysts says Al Jazeera exposè can bolster ED’s popularity among electorate

The topical Al Jazeera ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary which exposed gold smuggling and money laundering by individuals in Zimbabwe might actually bolster President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s popularity in his Zanu PF party, analysts have said.

In a recent interview with NewZimbabwe.com, political analysts said there was not much in the documentary that could change the electorate’s mindset.

This comes ahead of the polls set for July and August.

The documentary which premiered its fourth and last episode last week alleged the existence of illicit gold dealings, money laundering among other illegal practices.

Political researcher, Alexander Rusero said the documentary would unlikely affect voting patterns as a greater part of the electorate was not a part of social media platforms where the documentary circulated.

“As much as you cannot downplay the role of social media in electoral politics, Zimbabwe’s political balance of forces are still pretty much offline, and not online.

“The country’s political gravitas is offline. Online discourses, exposes on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube where this documentary has been popularized remain elitist in the current scheme of things.

“There is nothing much. I would not want to go into the documentary’s shortcomings but to then say, people would change their voting pattern or perception will be desperation,” Rusero stated.

Rusero highlighted Zimbabwe’s political modus is never going to be won online but offline as the political ecology has not changed.

“This documentary can actually bolster Mnangagwa’s position in terms of loyalty in his party (Zanu PF); in terms of the Haves and Have Nots etc.” he added.

Another political analyst, Eldred Masunungure told this publication that for the majority in Zimbabwe, corruption involving the elite has become normal; hence Zimbabweans were not shocked by the four part docu-series.

“Because corruption has been routinized in the country, there is not enough shock attendant on the ‘Gold Mafia’ exposés and therefore the impact on voting intentions may be muted.

“The impact of the ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary depends on multiple factors, one of which is that the revelations are not entirely new except that people/voters did not have solid, irrefutable evidence as was provided by the documentary.

“The corruption in the country, especially involving the ruling elite, has been so embedded and systemic that most Zimbabweans have become numb to the pervasive problem,” Masunungure said.

According to the analyst, many people were not shocked by the allegations in the film.

“The other vital factor is the extent to which the revelations have been published beyond the urban areas and beyond the more politically sophisticated block of voters.

“Is there a critical mass of politically conscious and alert citizens who can speak truth to power in the ballot box?” added Masunungure.

In other news – United States congratulates Zimbabwe on 43rd Independence anniversary

The United States of America has congratulated Zimbabwe on the occasion of the country’s 43rd independence anniversary.

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