By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
A new documentary on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa titled “The President” by Danish director Camilla Nielsson provides an up close and comprehensive look at how the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe were allegedly rigged by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF regime.
Nielsson is well informed of the political landscape in Zimbabwe after she did the “Democrats,” a superb 2014 documentary about the fractious construction of Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution.
The documentary also featured the political compromise made by then President Robert Mugabe and main opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai (both leaders are now late).
“The President” is expected navigate and inquire into the year 2017 after the military coup that ousted Zimbabwe’s late founding leader Mugabe and will also look at the installation of Mnangagwa ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
The documentary will also discuss the events that defined the last plebiscite as a “corruption-riddled 2018 presidential election”.
It does not forget the death of Tsvangirai, three months after the military coup and the transition of power in the main opposition with Nelson Chamisa becoming the president of the MDC-T.
“The film begins with a dramatic change of guard in both Zimbabwe’s main political parties, following the 2017 coup that saw veteran dictator Mugabe ousted by his own party, and replaced with his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Variety reported in their preview.
“Less than three months later, Tsvangirai’s untimely death from cancer sees 40-year-old lawyer and activist Nelson Chamisa take over as MDC chief. With the next general election already set for that July, it’s a baptism of fire for the charismatic young Turk, who nonetheless brashly sets out his plan to break ZANU-PF’s stranglehold on power: ‘He wants to rule us with his walking stick?’ he says of Mnangagwa, to whoops of approval at an early electoral rally.”
The 2018 presidential election in Zimbabwe was characterised by massive reports of electoral fraud, human rights abuses, corruption and mismanagement of the plebiscite by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which was accused of cooking results.
At least six people were shot and killed by armed soldiers, dozens injured during a post-election protest against the late announcement of results by ZEC. Chamisa’s supporters flooded the streets in several towns celebrating what they had anticipated was a Chamisa win.
“Even so, those who haven’t checked any headlines from Harare in the interim could hardly be prepared for the gut-punch of “The President,” Nielsson’s galvanizing, epic-scale docu-thriller tracking Zimbabwe’s corruption-riddled 2018 presidential election presented here as a brazen feat of hijacked democracy to make Donald Trump positively chartreuse with envy.”
“As it premieres in Sundance’s world documentary competition, “The President” may hit especially hard with audiences who have recently become all too familiar with talk of stolen elections — as it depicts a scenario in which such accusations are backed by disturbing numeric discrepancies rather than wounded ego and bluster.”
Nielsson provides an up “close and comprehensive look at the supposedly ‘free, fair, and credible’ elections that unfolded in 2018 and one hopeful candidate’s campaign to tear down the deceitful and oppressive leaders who have knowingly rigged elections for decades in order to remain in power.”