HomeEditorial CommentThe pleasure of voting

The pleasure of voting

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MAY I once more articulate the pleasures of voting for the future of our country? First, I will take you down memory lane.

Masola wa Dabudabu

Precisely, I shall first pop into the harmonised elections of 2008.
During the 2008 elections, I exercised my democratic right to vote for a parliamentary and presidential candidate of my choice.

It was a landmark election in that for the first time in the history of majority rule, the de facto one-party State rule of Zanu PF was defeated. For too long Zanu PF had rested in the comfort of their laurels. Zanu PF simply forgot that the people needed bread.

Collectively, more members of the former opposition parties were duly elected to the dismay of some elements in Zanu PF. The same elements had bragged that there was no viable opposition to test their popularity.

In the year 2008, Zanu PF faced an opposition party they had not bargained for. For the first time the vanguard party got a slap on its face from a nonentity.

Never before in Zanu PF’s history had so much opposition been anticipated from virtual nonentities. The overwhelming number of seats that were grabbed by the MDCs was too bitter a pill for Zanu PF to swallow, let alone digest.

They suddenly found themselves out of their familiar ground where Zapu used to monopolise a score of seats from Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands.

Historically, Zanu PF is a party that hates any opposition that is likely to dent their hegemony. Zapu did try and they got panel beaten into the Unity Accord in 1987.

One would always recall the fierceness with which Zanu PF tried to dislodge the token opposition offered by PF Zapu in the early ’80s before the Unity Accord.

They went to the extent of driving the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo into exile in an effort to introduce a one-party State.

The general elections of 1985 proved that Zanu PF was not comfortable with any opposition. The late national hero Nkomo was made to look like a scoundrel. He was persecuted on the airwaves. If anyone doubts this issue, let that person visit ZBC archives and listen to some of the jibe against Nkomo and will appreciate the contempt with which he was held.

I recall the day he arrived at Harare Airport from his forced exile. The gentleman from ZBC/TV who welcomed him made a mockery of the man who later became a hero.

There is no secret that the gentleman from ZBC/TV was dancing to his master’s voice! ZBC had to make Nkomo look like the devil he was perceived to be in Zanu PF circles. It was only when Zanu PF had realised that the people of Matabeleland would not budge that they conjured up the Unity Accord tailor-made to ensure the satanic supremacy of Zanu PF. The scoreboard read one nil in favour of Mugabe and this spelled political relegation for Nkomo.

After the signing of the Unity Accord, Nkomo was made to appear like a great leader who was above reproach. He was showered with accolades by his erstwhile critics and former adversaries. Zanu PF had achieved what they wanted.

Zanu PF elements get excitable during elections and they seem to revoke that violent pact with the devil. The elections expose the true faces of the elderly leader and his henchmen in Zanu PF.

In all the campaigns for the 2013 elections, we have seen all the hidden truth coming out from the Zanu PF candidates. Some of the candidates should be charged for inciting public violence. You can imagine such naÏve terms as “the supporters and leaders of the so and so party are like cats and dogs”. “So and so is a tea boy”. “His face is so ugly and his heart is equally ugly”.

These are some of the terms that have been used to ill-campaign members of the MDCs. Zanu PF principals have had nothing else to say, but immature vitriol.

The people are hungry as there is no maize meal in the shops. They could not say they improved the health delivery system, as the hospitals are in shambles and people are needlessly dying in the very corridors of healing institutions.

They could not say they brought peace as they incite the people to be at each other’s throats. They could not say they brought independence, as we still depend on Britain for scapegoats and the party depends on China for cheap campaign material bearing derogatory insignia. The way Zanu PF leaders hate opposition parties makes it hard for them to claim to have brought democracy. Even those expected to be the defenders of ALL Zimbabweans, have proclaimed on national television that they will not take kindly to anyone else ruling other than themselves.

They could not say they improved the quality of education for all as they send their children to schools somewhere in the United States and to the United Kingdom. They have nothing much to say about the alphabet. They brought nothing but peril.

They brought inflation which they covered up with the US dollar. They brought starvation. They even managed to bring sanctions upon themselves!

Within this sad political backdrop, I will duly exercise my right to vote! I know who I want to vote for and why. As I cast my vote, it will dawn on me that someone somewhere is also casting his or her vote.

This is called voting. It is a right for every citizen. I hope you will all vote. There is no point in blaming my grandmother in Muzarabani for voting in a fashion that does not please you while you fail to encourage your wife in Gokwe to vote wisely!

Let us hope that when we meet after our votes have been counted, we shall be celebrating a victory brought through collective balloting.
 Masola wa Dabudabu is a social commentator

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