Sympathy Vote favours Dr Khuphe in Zimbabwe 2018 polls



The Zimbabwean forthcoming elections slated for the 30th of July 2018 presents presidential candidates with different prospects, one of the key issues that politicians, key board political warriors aka Social Media activists and political pundits ignore is the Sympathy Vote.

A Sympathy Vote entails an occasion when a lot of people vote for or support a particular person because he or she has suffered recently on her/his struggles with abuse.

For example a tragic death of a political candidate in the midst of a campaign. The concept of the Sympathy Vote suggests that media coverage of the tragedy and the unification of public opinion carry the party of the deceased to victory on Election Day. Thus the MDC T party stood a better chance to benefit from a Sympathy Vote after the demise of its founding leader Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai before its fights escalated leading to Dr Thokozani Khuphe holding her extra ordinary  congress after the MDC T National Executive Council controversially endorsed Advocate Nelson Chamisa to be the interim president until congress.

It is also important to point that in this concept that the emotional dynamics of public opinion may not be so simple and binary but complex. Researchers have argued that the relationship between emotion and candidate support hinges largely on behavioural expectations of those that remain entrusted with the duty to fulfil the mandate and also how the media covers all the processes that ensures after the death of the candidate.

In light of the ugly scenes witnessed in Buhera during the burial of Morgan Tsvangirai where the MDC T Vanguard militia harassed Dr Khuphe and nearly set the hut that she and other officials have taken refuge in set in motion negative coverage by the media. Thus according to the Sympathy Vote concept if messages violate expectations, media will focus on controversy leading to a dissipation of the sympathy effect in public opinion.

One can therefore deduce that for now the Sympathy Vote flies in the face of MDC T faction led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa who now heads MDC Alliance and has eluded them because sustained coverage of ugly scenes and debauchery witnessed also in Bulawayo and continuous reports of imposition of candidates, threats of shootings and fights within rank and file of the faction. As bitter as it is to swallow for now the biggest beneficiary of the Sympathy Vote is the faction led by Dr Khuphe whom the media has largely pointed to be the victim of the MDC T internal fights, her cause has been further strengthened by sexism undertones that the public has deducted from utterances made by her erstwhile compatriot Advocate Nelson Chamisa in some platforms here and abroad.

Observers must not also ignore the fact that the ZANU PF candidate stands to benefit from the Sympathy Vote, one as a victim of former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe political shenanigans, secondly as he appears to be “messiah: who served Zimbabweans from facing 39 years of Mugabe’s rule albeit being propped by the military to ascend to presidency in November 2017. The disappearance of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the highways who seemingly thrived on milking Zimbabweans their hard earned money, semblance of new found freedoms such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and aura of hope that has been restored post military assisted transition, opening of operating space for Civil Society to carry its functions within communities seem to tilt the Sympathy Vote also to ZANU PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa. Sadly the populace seem to forget that the ZANU PF candidate is accused of being the hand that implemented Gukurahundi Genocide under the instruction of former president Robert Mugabe that left over 20000 people dead according to conservative estimates from CCJP.  MDC Alliance candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa is the biggest loser of the Sympathy Vote due his seemingly reckless statements, coupled with accusations of peddling lies in his addresses.

The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) also stands to benefit from Sympathy Vote from Matabeleland region, their determined campaign to demand closure on Gukurahundi, their sustained media messages on economic exclusion of the people from Matabeleland is a shot in the arm for them to get the Sympathy Vote. Protests against President Emmerson  Mnangagwa at Zimbabwe International  Trade Fair  (ZITF) and the subsequent arrests of their 8 activists,  protests at the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) outreach meetings also presents them with an opportunity to get the Sympathy Vote

Lastly, it can be concluded that the biggest beneficiary of the Sympathy Vote in the opposition will be MDC T faction led by Dr Thokozani Khuphe assuming the courts rule in her favour, if not that vote will certainly go to Dr Nkosana Moyo, who could spring a surprise on middle class vote and assimilate the Sympathy Vote. Emmerson Mnangagwa shall also benefit from the Sympathy Vote based of his perceived role to have untangled Zimbabweans from Robert Mugabe’s bondage. More investigations must be done to get an elaborate picture on Sympathy Vote, its nexus with public opinion created by the media.

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks


By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni


Thumbs up for Elton Mangoma’s letter of FAME




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;

The letter allegedly written by Elton Mangoma MDC T Deputy Treasurer General to MDC T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is a letter of FAME to some people in the society rather belittling it to a letter SHAME as some sections of the society want people to believe. Thumbs up to Elton Mangoma for saying the truth that if it is him who allegedly penned the letter, you are a true selfless and fearless democrat, you said the truth without fear and favor no matter how spin doctors try to scream, jump and kick but you nailed it.

 It is disgusting that whenever one dares to challenge the MDC T leadership  is labeled a ZANU PF project sent to derail the “people`s project”. Let them label you an agent of the certain individuals and some Western organizations but the future will exonerate you.  It is true that your party also needs leadership renewal. It is not criminal and it is your democratic right to express yourself freely  as espoused in the new charter section 61 subsection (1) a,  You are a brave leader. You have done an alien thing that has surprised most boot lickers, hero worshippers  and democratic pretenders, you brought the issue of leadership  renewal to public domain  for debate so that ordinary  people and party members make informed decision when they go to the congress to chose the next party leader.

 Zimbabweans must develop a culture that  acknowledges  that every person has right to express their opinion and if they have ambitions to lead they must not ask or beg for permission from anyone in order to do so. The gentlemen is right Tsvangirai has also overstayed 14 years is too much, a new trajectory is required now if MDC T is serious about winning the 2018 elections.  Mangoma you have refused to be part of hypocrites who creates semi gods from political leaders. If there were awards you deserve one for your push for a true democratic change where people are not persecuted or killed for expressing their views and even letting the public know through writing their opinions. Some sections of the society salute you for your bravery. People can insult you but the truth is out there now they cannot do anything about it. They may threaten to remove you from office for uttering the truth but your legacy of saying the truth will live on, actually what you said is the truth you just narrated it on paper so that people meditate on it.