Our vote must not be swayed by political affiliation only

HARARE - The MDC ought to be commended for holding their primary elections and confirmation exercise peacefully.

What amused me the most was the long list of non-performers who failed to get outright endorsements to contest in the primaries.

It was a good start at making our elected leaders accountable to their constituencies.

I am also very impressed by the fact that the MDC is trying to stamp out vote buying, knowing as we do that some of these people have lots of money that they would not hesitate to splash around to buy a few votes to put them into Parliament.

But this is just a start; we need to do more.

The electorate in every constituency must closely study all aspiring candidates.

We have had enough of calling morons “Honourable Member” when they are all but honourable.

For years, week after week, Zimbabweans have been patient and have given their support to various trialists and political upstarts: all in the hope of taking control of the direction in which our country is moving.

But alas, for years, in spite of the fact that the nation has always produced notable sons and daughters, they all end up being disappointments, charlatans who quickly forget the grandmothers and uncles who sent them to school and the rank and file who sent them to represent them in Parliament.

My advice to Mr Tsvangirai is to stand firm and mean what he says. He should, by all means, avoid favouritism that will render his efforts at running his party democratically while electing candidates of people’s choice a charade.

It is a dicey exercise and Mr Tsvangirai must not be intimidated.

Tsvangirai reportedly told over 1 000 candidates vying for the 210 parliamentary seats in Harare that the party will not tolerate any incidents of using cash to buy votes in the election.

“Anyone found in breach of the offences will be dismissed on the spot,” he declared while urging the candidates to strive to have their names associated with good deeds and not entice people to vote for them based on their financial strength.

Under Zanu PF, we have suffered as we saw money change our representatives into bootlicking morons who never give a hoot about the constituencies they represent.

When our elected parliamentarian goes to Parliament to call Mugabe the son of God; when our elected official insults his own parents by wishing he was Mugabe’s son; and when an elected lawmaker bursts into tears for being given a portrait of Mugabe, then we know we have made wrong choices.

Such trash must be thrown out of Parliament.

But we do not need to wait for that. We must now scrutinise all of our aspiring candidates in all parties at the very start. We must compare them against each other and, that way, we will get parliamentarians who do not necessarily put their party above the constituency but listen to the people and take the people’s message to Parliament.

We should not be swayed by party affiliation alone but by the excellent calibre of a candidate.

So let us start at the beginning. Let us be discriminating when we choose and vote for that councillor.

Let us be brutal as we investigate that person who wants to be our Member of Parliament.

People in all the constituencies have the responsibility to elect people of substance, regardless of their party affiliation.

They should not be rushed or swayed by a political party’s campaign rhetoric but must study each candidate carefully and make up their own minds based on what information they get about the candidate.

I do not care about the political affiliation of my MP; I want an MP who will remain part of the constituency and who will stand by the people because the people own the political parties not the other way round.

I applaud Tsvangirai’s statement to his aspiring candidates and urge him to show us that he means business. It should not just be lip service; it must be crowned with action because it is something of benefit not only to the MDC but to the nation as a whole.

I applaud the people in whose constituencies some sitting MPs were reminded of their below par performances.

All MPs must always remember that the day will come when they have to stand before the people to renew their mandate and we certainly are not going to slip on the same banana twice.

It is my hope that this peaceful and democratic exercise spreads across all constituencies and across all political parties. Good luck, Zimbabwe. - 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.