Zimbos should vote wisely

BULAWAYO - As Zimbabweans go to the polls in less than four months, it is important that voters are reminded of how a once prosperous country was brought to its knees through gross economic mismanagement.

I want to remind Zimbabweans — as leader of Democratic Opposition Party (DOP) — of that dark era so they watch out who they vote for this year.

Former president Robert Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 had in the early years of his reign been a darling of the people, overseeing a huge expansion in the country’s health system and the education sector.

But without proper checks and balances to his reign, he drove the country into economic ruin until he finally bowed down to military pressure in November last year after 37 years of misrule.

Mugabe’s legacy, as one of the most ruthless African presidents of modern times will linger with generations to come as multitudes of Zimbabweans fled the country because of persecution.

A notorious Statesman, he used Rhodesian-era laws to suppress public gatherings and opposition parties while also using the army, police and security agencies to keep the people subservient.

During his reign, opposition supporters were killed or disappeared during election campaigns while many more were tortured and detained. Others have been abducted without any trace.

The notorious Gukurahundi is an episode that should not happen again in Zimbabwe.

Human rights groups and the Catholic Church documented and condemned the killings, which remain the darkest stain on Mugabe’s record and a scar that plagues the country.

So, I hope Zimbabweans will be wise as they cast their vote because we do not want to live in a Zimbabwe fraught with fear.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was seen as a creature of Mugabe as it had become so unpopular to the extent that its banishment from roadblocks by the military since November last year was celebrated throughout the country.

The ZRP had become the most corrupt organisation in the country and it had helped drive away tourists as it harassed motorists and openly demanded bribes.

DOP promises to bring sanity and everlasting peace.

It is my hope that the order prevailing under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa will not slip back to Mugabe’s old ways.

I also hope Mnangagwa’s wife will not behave like Mugabe’s wife, Grace who became a power unto herself, directing vice-presidents and ministers as she notoriously meddled in government processes, systems and functions taking advantage of her personal proximity to her husband.

The former president thought it was wise to build a Mugabe dynasty.

And when the runaway inflation became the $100 trillion note, printed in early 2009, Mugabe had become a pariah on the international scene and the butt of jokes on social media.

But Grace overplayed her political game in her manipulative quest as she openly vied replacing her 94-year-old husband and it spectacularly backfired.

And it is sad when you read reports that Mugabe has 21 farms to himself, when during his reign he used to talk about one man one farm.

Mugabe’s often violent seizure of Zimbabwe’s white-owned farms devastated the country’s agricultural production, transforming what had been known as Africa’s breadbasket into a land of poverty and hunger.

DOP will change all that and embrace all those farmers who have the know-how to produce and land will be shared equally.

We hope the leaders that the voters will choose this time around will be sensitive to the plight of the majority of our citizens.

It is my hope that Mugabe did not inspire other leaders to emerge in Zimbabwe who will emulate his tactics and extend their rule by manipulating the constitution and suppressing opposition through violence and intimidation.

Comments (1)

Harry Peter Wilson it is clear your slant as Democratic Opposition Party is agriculture. Why not take your farming strength and align with other opposition parties to form a credible force? We are sick and tired of the 118 parties on the ZEC's roll. Whittle yourselves down to more credible numbers!

Daniel 5 - 12 April 2018

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