“I Just Wish Emmerson Mnangagwa Would Bring Change.”

The elections in Zimbabwe last week were marred with high level of violence, and several protesting civilians were killed by soldiers. A thirty-five-year old Zimbabwean national Samuel Sithole* shared with the Daily Vox the disappointment over the results and his hopes for his country.

Going home after seeing on television what has been going on would be a regrettable mistake. I wish I had a chance to vote but I doubt it would have made any difference really. The fact that Zanu-PF is still in power makes one lose all the hope.

My friends and I had hoped that the Movement for Democratic (MDC) Alliance would win the election this year, seeing that there’s a young politician, Nelson Chamisa. But I can’t say I’m surprised because chances are, the election wasn’t free and fair. It has happened in the past where you’d find that a few days after results some ballot papers would be found floating in the rivers.

As Zimbabwe Votes, Here’s What You Need To Know

It’s also not convincing that the ruling party won fairly this year. The truth is that not many people would vote for the party unless they were being threatened, there’s a region called Matabeleland and the people there hate the ruling party. How is it possible that these people could have voted for the ruling party? It’s highly unlikely.

I just hope that the ruling party will bring change to our people. Most Zimbabweans I know were looking forward to going home should the MDC win the elections with the hope that there will be change, but now I doubt they will be going back.

The truth is that as Zimbabweans, we love our country and despite everything that’s happening it’s still home. But, the fact that there’s so much going on, we find ourselves in a situation where we have to move to South Africa just because it’s not easy to make a living that side.

Zimbabwean Civil Society Remain Cautious Over Upcoming Elections

As we speak, we don’t have our own currency and we rely on a foreign currency. That alone is driving people away because it makes no sense how a whole country can’t have its own currency. If there’s one thing that Mugabe failed us with as the people of Zimbabwe, that’s the first thing. He did his bit of good yes because he built schools and other public facilities but none of that was enough.

There are still no jobs for the youth, both educated and uneducated. As a driver, I’d struggle to find a job back home but here I’m able to find those piece jobs of being a driver. I just wish Mnangagwa would bring change and liberate Zimbabweans, but seeing what the troops have been doing to civilians over the past few days makes me wonder if there will ever be change and peace in our country.

On 3 August 2018, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared that the ruling Zanu-PF won the national elections, meaning the party leader Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the president of Zimbabwe. The South African government congratulated Zanu-PF on the electoral victory on Friday. Human rights groups reported dozens of abductions, beatings and rapes carried out against opposition supporters over the weekend as protests continued, according to reporting in the Guardian.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Featured image by Tendai Marima