In 2021 Mr Mwonzora famously said that his party will win 66% of the votes that will be cast in few months from now. Not to be outbid the Zimbabwean opposition party, the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ), is hoping to capitalize on voter apathy in the country. Robert Howard Chapman, the party’s leader, believes that there are more people who are eligible to vote but choose not to exercise their right than those who support either ZANU PF or CCC. Chapman made these comments during an interview on the program “In Conversation with Trevor.”
The DUZ leader cited data that showed voter turnout in recent elections to be around 35% and believes that his party can win 74% of those who are disinterested in the political process. Chapman stated, “We looked at data to say would it be favourable if I ran, would people accept that? Then the second side of it was to also look and say was there a window for us to participate. There was an opportunity for acceptance, and then the bigger tell-tale sign was this data showed that there was huge voter apathy. In fact, that group was larger than each of the parties individually.”
Chapman believes that the majority of Zimbabweans don’t vote because they don’t see a candidate who would make a difference in their lives. Since 2000, Zimbabwean politics have been dominated by two parties: ZANU PF and MDC, which has changed its name to MDC-T, MDC Alliance, and now CCC.
The DUZ leader’s comments highlight the challenges facing Zimbabwean democracy. Despite holding regular elections, many citizens feel disillusioned and disconnected from the political process. Voter apathy is a significant issue, with many people choosing not to vote due to a lack of trust in the political establishment or a belief that their vote won’t make a difference.
Chapman’s comments suggest that DUZ is hoping to tap into this sentiment and offer Zimbabweans a viable alternative to the country’s established political parties. Whether the party can succeed in winning over disengaged voters remains to be seen, but their efforts may be a step towards revitalizing Zimbabwe’s democracy and encouraging greater participation in the political process.