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Chapman Determined to Challenge Zanu PF-CCC Political Hegemony

ROBERT Chapman broke out of his shell last year to announce his presidential aspirations for the upcoming general elections, much to the skepticism of political observers.

Chapman threw his hat into the ring where he is expected to battle it out against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and fellow opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

“The idea of forming the opposition party was born in 2020. Sadly it was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 then we put systems in place to form the party,” said Chapman.

Chapman attended his elementary education in Mashonaland West before moving abroad to further his studies and subsequently clinching a job in the United States of America.

“When I was growing up it was very difficult, life was very hard. I grew up selling on the market because my grandmother was blind and I would be left vending,” said Chapman.

Through his nascent political outfit, Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ), Chapman is selling himself as the alternative voice on the political arena.

Zimbabwe has been dominated by two political protagonists, Zanu PF and MDC with Citizens Coalition for Change rising from the latter’s ashes also claim a stake.

Chapman says power wrangles and disputes had destroyed the ability of the opposition to dislodge ruling party Zanu PF.

“Two people destroyed the opposition. Two people destroyed the opposition party that was left by Morgan Tsvangirai. I said to myself if the opposition is occupied by two people who cannot follow their constitution how can they be trusted to lead this country.

“When the opposition ship rocked, that is when I said let us create an opposition that is different from the existing. A party that gives solutions to the problems not only highlighting them,” he said.

His candidature for the upcoming elections was met with skepticism with political observers dismissing him as another party that emerged out of the blue towards elections.

In 2018 a record 23 candidates vied for the presidency with 21 of those failing to garner more than 10 percent of votes with some retreating in shells after the plebiscite.

Independent Norton legislator had no kind words for Chapman labelling him a clown.

The build-up to general elections has been marred by controversy with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s handling of the delimitation exercise coming under scrutiny.

Chapman says institutions that are meant to serve the people in Zimbabwe have crumbled owing to years of maladministration.

“The country is seemingly being built but it is not so. The economy is informalised with its problems affecting everyone. We want Zimbabwe to be industrialised. In the past Zimbabwe used to be a producer but right now we are importing,” said Chapman.

Nicknamed the Obama of Zimbabwean politics, Chapman has been slowly attracting interest on social media.

According to political analyst Lazarus Sauti, Chapman’s inexperience on the political landscape will work against him in the upcoming general elections.

“Robert Chapman’s and his Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) party’s foray into politics is intriguing yet challenging. It’s intriguing since he is facing off against Zanu PF, the CCC, and the MDC in our country’s political arena. Accordingly, his lack of experience will be his biggest downfall.

“He deserves credit for introducing a fresh type of politics. He has already drawn comparisons to Dr. Nkosana Moyo from some people, but “Is our electorate prepared for him?,” said Sauti.

Source: New Zimbabwe