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Since the start of the year there had been rumours that Makoni was going to start a new party drawing its leadership mostly from the ruling party but he will instead be standing as an independent candidate which is a very interesting scenario.
So I think both the ruling party and the opposition must be wondering whether Makoni is a friend or not. For a start I think Makoni will draw support from disgruntled Zanu PF supporters as well as dissatisfied MDC supporters but the question is how much will that support be and will that be enough to carry him over the line.
A lot of questions are flying already and one of them is how many people will be prepared to vote for an independent presidential candidate and then how independent will he be. Also is an independent president the way to go for Zimbabwe or is a party sponsored candidate a better one since he or she will be answerable at least to his party.
In his speech he suggested that he will form a government of national unity but what stops him from drawing most of his cabinet from the Zanu PF since he supposedly knows them better.
For the opposition MDC they have problems of their own after their split but I think they should fear that he will take most of his support from the urban areas because those are the people who are likely to know who Makoni is. That should be a worry for the MDC.
In the rural areas I doubt he will have much in-road especially as he doesn't have a party to rally around him but will be depending on his name to get through. I don't think Zanu PF will be very much worried about that.
But to me the big question remains: why did he leave it until so late? Will he be able to dissociate himself from the policies of a government he was so closely linked until this week?
I think we will see some of the answers when he goes on the campaign trail and start asking people to vote for him and not Robert Mugabe or Morgan Tsvangirai and tell them that he is the answer to Zimbabwe's mounting problems.
To finish off I think its a good thing that he has come out to challenge Zanu PF and I think that has taken a lot of bravery on his part but he has a lot of work to do if he is going to win the presidential election.
Already Simba is being criticised by his former party members as a puppet of the British and Americas.To people in Zanu PF,ANY ONE WHO OPPOSES THEM NOMATTER HOW CONSTRUCTIVE IS WORKING FOR THE British & Americans.
To the MDC camps Simba's coming into the field of play will show them that their split was a big let down to the people who had so much faith in them. However my personal observation is that Simba's coming into this game is a bit late and will only help to further split the opposition votes and this will work well for Mugabe.
He should have come a bit early in order to sell his ideas to the electorate. He already have a lot of support from the urbanites,but those in the rural areas needed more time to know him better.
Overally he is a good leader and if given due respect and recognition by the electorate ill deliver some positive results for the country.
Itís a dilemma for Mugabe, he wants to weed out the Makoni MPs but cant because they havenít declared themselves. At the same time the nomination closes in one week. Itís a game of poker going on in Zanu right now.
His last minute candidacy is most likely to take Bob off guard. The mistake that MDC made in 2000 was to challenge Bob too early. Remember, MDC formed a good year before the 2000 elections which gave Bob and the CIO ample time to dismantle them and wear them down using the CIO. So don't just discount the timing, he would have thought about it.