Voters need fresh bait

HARARE - The forthcoming by-elections in 14 constituencies countrywide have proved the expedient benevolence of politicians whose conscience seems to jolt and remember the electorate when they need their votes, judging by the empty promises they have been retailing since the campaign started.

Some of the largesse showered on the electorate serves to prove one thing, that Zimbabwean voters merely need ephemeral gratifications and are unable to interrogate politician’s failures as long as they can dole out trinkets.

Hand-outs ironically reflect how much aspiring candidates, particularly those of the ruling party, have failed to fulfil their promises to the electorate since they came into office; how they have failed in their remit to provide the jobs promised in 2013; better health, infrastructure or education pledged in the same year and a host of development issues seemingly too onerous to tackle for a government which professes to be pro-poor.

Surprisingly, it is rather mundane that Zimbabwean voters are still willing to surrender their suffrage and the only voice they have to call politicians to account for the interminable suffering that these politicians have created for ordinary Zimbabweans.

And the politicians are still relentless in promising revival of collapsed industries, in the case of Bulawayo, by commissioning brick-moulding projects; doling out blankets to the elderly in Hurungwe and such other things that do not leave a lasting solution to the plight of the poor.

None of the beneficiaries really believe these trinkets can buoy the flagging economy, neither do they believe pampering them when with promises of a paradisiacal future when its suits the politicians will change their lives by some strange miracle.

Indeed, it is hackneyed that voters can be expected to be charmed by threadbare promises when they encounter and witness indisputable evidence of the failure around them unless they hope to remain disillusioned for the rest of their lives.

By-elections aside, Zimbabweans are pinning for a leadership that shows a clear vision for the future; a vision that reflects palpable progression towards improvement of the quality of life the ordinary person so that he or she does not rely on the generosity of the politician only when occasions deem it necessary.

While still smarting from the prospect of the long-term dire consequences following the capricious acquisition of the RBZ debt by Parliament last week, there are good reasons for contemporary Zimbabweans to frown at the way government is plunging them deeper into indebtedness.

After the by-elections, Zimbabweans hope, the powers that be will turn back and concentrate on fulfilling some the outlandish pledges they make.

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