What, nonetheless, stands out as glaringly as the sun on a clear day, was a political party – which has been in existence for all of 59 years, has been in charge of the country for 42 of these, and wantonly abused state institutions for its benefit, whilst national resources were dished out for campaign purposes – yet, still dismally and pathetically failed to overcome a two-month old opposition.
This is not just a new baby – having been declared by the country’s highest court as not being the real MDC, parliament following suit by agreeing to massive recalls of its elected representatives (leading to the by-elections), thereby being deprived of state funding, and head offices forcefully grabbed, thereby leaving it with nothing linking it to the party formed by Morgan Richard Tsvangirai in 1999 – but, also has not a single resource on its side.
Notwithstanding that the CCC did not have any title deeds to dangle to the electorate, or so-called “Presidential Borehole Drilling Schemes”, “Presidential Input Schemes”, “Presidential Heifer Schemes”, “Presidential Fisheries Schemes”, or any other “scheme” to talk of – nor, did it have the state media at its disposal, or an electoral body to favor it, or law enforcement to harrass opponents – yet, still managed to outperform the ruling party, with all its heavy guns.
Now, that is what I call humiliation of the highest order.
As such, when this new party came into the just-ended by-elections, they had no seat to talk about, neither did they have anything to their name – but, they still managed to garner the huge bulk of the seats on offer.
Let us not forget that – as all the seats available were a result of the recalling of members of parliament (MPs), and ward councillors who had pledged allegiance to Nelson Chamisa and his group, which had been stripped bare of any semblance of a party (even being declared an non-entity by the courts) – these electoral wins, also meant that they grabbed votes from the MDC, led by Douglas Mwonzora, who had been given the party on a silver platter by the courts and government.
That, to me, is a victory of victories – never seen before in the history of this country!
All what other contesting political parties managed to do was simply, either retain their previous seats, plus one or two (as did ZANU PF), or lose everything (as happened to the MDC).
Nonetheless, the question that easily comes along is, why?
Why did a two month old party, without a single seat in its name, manage to upstage an established 59 year old ruling party – that appeared to have every state resource at its disposal?
What I can readily surmise is that, mainly urban dwellers had resoundingly rejected ZANU PF’s half-baked two-bit so-called “development”!
Interestingly, yesterday I had most vibrant discussions with some ZANU PF ardent supporters – who sought to disparage those who voted for the opposition CCC, as some foolish desperados without any understanding of politics, but driven purely by hunger.
Of course, I responded by asserting that, even those who voted for ZANU PF were forced by starvation and impoverishment (ironically, engineered by the same party) – and, were only after those so-called “empowerment projects” and “schemes”, in the hope of some reprieve from gnawing hunger and pennilessness.
However, I continued, the majority of those who voted knew better than returning to office those who callously presided over their miserable and sorrowful livelihoods, in the first place – through, the ruling elite’s unquenchable appetite for looting and plunger of our national resources, as well as reckless and thoughtless economic policies, and gross mismanagement.
Admittedly, there will be those who allow themselves to become desperate enough to fall for those shallow and laughable “empowerment programs” and endless “schemes” – but, the majority of us know exactly what we want in life, and will never settle for the mediocre and sub-standard.
Even in personal relationships, there are those ladies who will be more than satisfied being “pampered”, by their suitors, with maputi and jiggies – regarding this as the best date ever, and a sign of “high living” and “good life” – however, those who have any measure of self-respect and self-worth will want and expect better.
The majority of the electorate have sent a very loud unequivocal message to Zimbabwe’s ruling elite, in that – we are not second-class citizens, and will never settle for second-rate “development” – whilst, those in power lavish themselves in abundant opulence at taxpayers’ expense.
We will not accept boreholes in our towns and cities, when we have taps in our homes that were placed there specifically to provide continuous running water.
We refuse to beg for some “empowerment projects” – like heifer rearing, or poultry farming, or gold panning – when we are trained professionals, who should be living comfortably on our chosen fields.
Why should our mothers and fathers be seen embarrassingly jumping for joy – as they receive free inputs and handouts – when, in a normal economy, we should be able to successfully sustain and fend for ourselves?
Why would anyone celebrate title deeds, possibly issued for properties built illegally, and on unsuitable land – when we should be able to afford to purchase our own homes, in properly serviced and legally constituted suburbs?
We will never settle for dehumanizing treatment, as some compromise due to state-authored poverty and lack!
We will never accept to be treated as second-class citizens in our own country – when those supposed to be our leaders freely eat of the fat of the land, as they live their best lives, at our tax expense.
If there are those who have resigned themselves to the sub-standard and mediocre life the ZANU PF regime is offering, then fine – but, the rest of us have shown that we know what we are worth, and what we deserve.
…and, what we are worth and deserve is more than what ZANU PF has to offer, and can deliver!
© 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