Coming polls are like no other before

HARARE - For 33 times in as many years, Zimbabweans were led to various centres around the country to “celebrate” Independence Day.

In just about every country in the world Independence Day is a revered day that allows people to pause from regular daily imperatives to thank and remember patriots past who laid down their lives in the liberation of their countries.

It is a day that is closely linked with the health and aspirations of a nation; a day that should, of necessity, be clean from partisanship and politics of the day.

Zimbabwe has turned 33 and I do wish the day meant as much to us as it does to citizens of other nations.
We hardly have anything to be thankful for because our day of emancipation appears to have been the day we were taken back into tyrannical realms.

It seems as if April 18, 1980 is the day we traded in a vicious white oppressor for a black and worse persecutor.

For some of us who lived through successive colonial governments, we feel embarrassed to, once in a while, be nostalgic for the days before “independence” when we dissect what “independence” has done or brought to our nation.

We never at any time expected, let alone believe, that a black government could turn out worse than the colonial governments which gave us such torrid times before 1980.

But we liberated our country and here we are.

We found out that liberating a country is a totally different order from governing it.

It would be interesting to pause a little and make a list of items about life in general and compare items on the list between pre-colonial and post-colonial days.

We can start with employment, then education, then agriculture, industry, mining, rule of law, state of the police, transport and so on.

Even the staunchest Zanu PF adherent would admit that we lost the plot a long time ago.

But we soldier on, fighting for survival at the same time we desperately try to protect ourselves from our own liberators who have come to view us as unthankful masses that resist being blackmailed everyday.

Zanu PF failed us and is now blaming us for their failures. They have been in power for 33 years now and we have very little to show for it.

Now we are faced with “watershed elections” this year and, given what we have gone through since independence and, lately, since the formation of the notorious unity government, we cannot afford to make one more mistake.

We need to think very deeply and carefully...if only they can give us the time to ponder what choice to make because this time, we must vote for our intentions, hopes and expectations.

Sadly, we are faced with many Catch-22 situations.

The unity of all political parties to fight Zanu PF is essential, no doubt about that, as long as you can assure me that I will not be stuck with reactionaries who might derail a government for their own personal interests after another unity government is formed as the horde of political parties divide the spoils among themselves — including those Mickey Mouse political parties that exist in name only.

I honestly, would not like to see Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube continuing with their verbal sparring at the expense of running the nation.

We have had enough of unity governments.

Zimbabweans need to think carefully because whichever way these forthcoming elections go, we are going to have to be very vigilant and keep our elected officials in check.

As Tsvangirai said during independence celebrations, independence does start with the independence and freedom of the nation to collectively express itself, even for change.

“It is in the same spirit of independence that we must all register to vote so that we determine the destiny of our own country,” he said.

 Thirty-three years of abuse and helpless watching as people we trusted with our votes robbed us blind and stripped the nation bare.

While Zimbabweans have shown great resilience, staying power and patience, they should not be asked to spend even one day more under duress.

“So many people lost their lives for this right to vote and we must guard it jealously and exercise it,” said Tsvangirai. “Indeed, they lost life and limb so that the whims of future generations could walk again.”

We must now repossess our sense of self, pick up our responsibilities and exercise our political imperative, register to vote and go to vote, however long the queues are. - Tanonoka Joseph Whande

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.