Zimbabwe: Can Mnangagwa use corruption-plagued projects as electoral leverage?

By Farai Shawn Matiashe

Posted on Thursday, 2 March 2023 13:34
President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, US, September 22, 2022. REUTERS

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government often hail infrastructure development as one of their biggest achievements. With the 2023 general elections just a few months away, he is widely expected to cite his feat even more frequently during his campaign for a new five-year term, yet corruption accusations tarnish the image of the national projects.

Some of Zimbabwe’s major national projects that came under the auspices of Mnangagwa are:

  • the upgrade of Beitbridge Border Post
  • the Gwayi-Shangani Dam that will provide water to Bulawayo’s residents
  • the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange
  • the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Plant
  • the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion and
  • the Harare-Beitbridge road dualisation.

“It is evident that [they] will use these as evidence of the economic transformation that they have been able to achieve so far and thus it will be their political trump card,” says Stevenson Dhlamini, an economist and a senior lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.