Zim voter getting more complex, unpredictable

HARARE - The chaotic nature of the Zanu PF primary elections held over the weekend showed just how shambolic the ruling party’s planning can be.

In some constituencies, the elections were still to be completed following various challenges that manifested during the period, including late delivery of ballot papers, intimidation and other electoral ills.

In some way, it could actually be a dry run of the harmonised elections expected to be held some time in July/August this year.

A number of Zanu PF bigwigs fell by the wayside, reflecting how sophisticated and unpredictable the electorate can be.

It is an entirely new ball game altogether and gone are the days when top party leaders could assume that people would vote for them simply because of their names and their proximity to power.

By yesterday, there were reports that Chris Mutsvangwa, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, Chris Mushohwe, Mike Bimha, David Chapfika, Beatrice Nyamupinga among many other Zanu PF bigwigs had fallen in their respective constituencies.

The people, in doing so, were sending a very clear and strong message to Zanu PF. They are no longer going to be used in endorsing mediocrity.

They have already learnt their lessons that politicians will forever remain what they essentially are — very effective at making false promises, disappearing from the scene when they are needed the most and only resurfacing when elections are approaching.

Indeed Abraham Lincoln’s words are becoming even more relevant now: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

The people have simply had enough of the lies that had become inherent in some Zanu PF personalities who felt they could continue lying to the electorate and still go on to represent them in Parliament.

On the Sunday that the Zanu PF primaries were held, the Daily News ran an editorial comment urging the electorate to explore the issues and challenges in their communities before settling for specific choices in the polls, something that would speak volumes about their political maturity.

It appears the Zimbabwean electorate has indeed reached new levels of political maturity. They were not worried about those who bought them “things” in order to be voted in. If only this thinking could subsist in the electorate when the national elections are held, the better for the country.

It is no longer time to vote in people simply because we know them but instead the decision must be based on what the candidates are going to do which should remain within the bounds of the practical.

For the past 38 years, Zimbabweans were being forced to endure unfulfilled promises and yet still be forced to vote for those people.

A snap look at life for the ordinary Zimbabweans since independence would show that poverty levels have indeed worsened while the gap between the rich and the poor has widened significantly.

Access to health services which supposedly improved soon after independence with the opening of primary health care centres, have plummeted drastically during the country’s close to two decades of independence. The education system has deteriorated so badly while unemployment has shot up.

National infrastructure like the road and railway network is so bad all over the country. One wonders whether there was anyone superintending over the affairs of state all along.

Keen observers would easily conclude that the collapse of most of these was a result of corruption that has become endemic, especially with those at the top.

Meanwhile, the majority is expected to continue suffering and return to the ballot every five years to endorse the recycling of the same individuals.

The fact that the voter is now no longer predictable is a reflection of commendable political maturity.

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