An Afrobarometer survey report released in June this year has reportedly pushed ZANU PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa to canvass political support in churches.
The Afrobarometer survey report indicated that CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s popularity was rising while Mnangagwa had lost considerable support since the 2017 military coup that brought him to State House.
The key finding of the survey was that if elections were held at that juncture, 33% of the respondents were going to vote for Chamisa while 30% would vote for Mnangagwa.
A ZANU PF insider who spoke to The NewsHawks said the Afrobarometer survey report unsettled the party’s bigwigs. Said the official:
Number one (Mnangagwa) and other party leaders at our Harare headquarters where most of them are working full-time were particularly unsettled because in 2017 the same survey projected ED’s support at 38% and so coming down to 30% was a cause of concern for them. It was decided that the party harvest support in churches.
Another ZANU PF insider was quoted as saying that the party was deliberately targetting churches to boost its support. The official said:
It is not accidental that you see party leaders and government officials flocking to churches with huge followers to address them.
It’s part of a planned move in response to the Afrobarometer survey. The party now believes that it can regroup and bolster its support by wooing churches.
Our leader (Mnangagwa) himself is not a staunch Christian but he has been going to these churches and putting on different robes.
ZANU PF officials including Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa have been frequenting countless churches.
On 16 July, Mnangagwa was in Mafararikwa at St Noah where he attended the Passover Service of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church.
That same day, the First Lady and Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa were in Mutare, attending an Apostolic Ejuweni Jekenisheni church service.
On 2 July, Chiwenga was at the Catholic-run Monte Cassino Girls High School in Macheke.
On 7 August, Mnangagwa attended a service at Zion Christian Church at Defe Dopota. He was accompanied by the First Lady.
More: The NewsHawks