Campaigning using threats and violence exposes ruling elite that has no solutions for Zimbabwe’s myriad of challenges

So, constituencies that vote for the opposition will not have their concerns and grievances listened to by the government of Zimbabwe!

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

Chiefs who refuse to tow the ruling ZANU PF line, and reject being abused as the party’s political commissars – in its coercive and intimidatory tactics in rural areas – will rue the day they made such a fateful decision!

What else?

Oh yes, and we have witnessed the brute force, whereby might rather than charm have been the hallmark of ZANU PF politics (spanning six decades) – in which, cold-hearted brutality and violence have been the norm (definitely not the exception) in getting Zimbabweans to vote for the ruling party – with the most recent being the savage attack on opposite CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) supporters attending a rally in Kwekwe, resulting in the barbaric murder of one.

I have always perceived politics as the domain of those blessed with the gift of the gab – who possess exceptional diplomacy skills, and an outstanding ability at convincing people about their cause, programs, and promises.

As politics, and political power, are about popularity and the popular vote – common sense would dictate that, those who prevail should naturally be those who manage to successfully market and sell their policies and agendas.

It is akin to a man courting the lady he loves – who wants to be loved back, and accepted as an intimate partner.

This obviously requires unparalleled skillfulness in the art of persuasiveness – which, in our younger days, we called, “a sweet tongue” – to sweep one’s potential sweetheart off her feet.

As such, it would be completely shocking and unacceptable for one to use insults, threats, and even brute force, in an attempt to “win over” the lady he claims to love, cherish, and desires to spend the rest of their lives together.

It is chilling just imagining a man approaching a young lady, and warning her that if she did not accept his romantic advances, she would never be able to walk in that town or its streets again, or he would ensure that she never managed to purchase anything from his family’s shop, or even threatening to beat her to a pulp.

Impossible to believe such a thing happening?

Well, that is, in fact, what the ruling ZANU PF leadership has been doing during their recent campaign trail – in preparation for the nearby March 26, 2022 parliamentary and local government by-elections – a trend that is, nonetheless, not new, but has been a disturbing part and parcel of this party’s DNA since its formation in 1963.

How else can one explain so-called “Star Rallies” that are characterized by a glaring lack of policy depth – but, filled with immensely troubling covert and overt threats against the opposition, and any who dare support and vote for them.

Instead of hearing sound programs and plans, we are only told of traditional leaders who refuse to be subservient to the ruling party needing to pray to their ancestors for guidance, and conducting cleansing ceremonies – as the government would never hesitate to remove them from office.

We are also told of how the electorate’s concerns would be ignored, and not be addressed – since, any opposition elected parliamentary or local government representatives would not be regarded as “official” and “recognized” channels.

Wow, really!

Is that the best the ruling party has to offer the electorate – when presented with a platform to pitch what they have to offer, and why they should be entrusted with public office?

Threats, threats, and more threats – which are clearly unlawful and unconstitutional!

We have a nation where the majority of urban dwellers have not had any running tap water for ages, where 74% of the population earn less than US$5.50 a day (and nearly half of Zimbabweans living in extreme poverty of less than US$1.90 per day), whilst 3.5 million children surviving in chronic hunger.

And, the best the ruling establishment has to offer are threats to the same electorate they require votes from, and who are enduring the brunt of this unimaginable suffering and impoverishment.

Maybe, it makes sense that there is really nothing else to present the citizenry – as this is the same government that has not only failed to deliver in its 42 years of destructive rule, but has presided over the callous ruination of a once prosperous nation, that used to be the envy of the entire continent.

What else can they offer the population, when the only thing they can give urban residents are so-called “Presidential Borehole Drilling Schemes” – an indisputable signal of the lack of a viable solution to the water crisis bedevilling our towns and cities.

It is, therefore, not surprising that an entire campaign rally (a rare opportunity to sell a party’s policies and programs) can be spent on insults and threats – as there is nothing better on ZANU PF ‘s plate.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *