Finally the moment of reckoning has come. Good morning July 31 — Zimbabweans should be saying tomorrow. It is a day the nation has been waiting for, after four years of a troubled “marriage of convenience” by three major political parties which entered a Unity Government following disputed polls in 2008.
Stakes have never been higher for a country itching to reclaim its place in the global family of nations in which it had virtually been reduced to a pariah State.
On the local front, the economy has remained stagnant, the liquidity crunch has hit virtually every sector and political foes have heightened their game, to the detriment of the nation.
It’s definitely a scenario needing urgent address and the onus lies squarely on the shoulders of Zimbabweans come the day tomorrow to decide their own destiny.
The message is simple and straightforward — come out in your numbers and vote. You can make a difference. Political parties have paraded their manifestos. Some look realistic, others overambitious and sugar-coated.
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is pledging to indigenise the economy, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T promises to create one million jobs over five years, Welshman Ncube’s MDC and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu are dangling the devolution carrot.
The question now is: Which manifesto resonates with the wishes of the Zimbabwean people? Which political party is preaching messages good enough to propel the country to prosperity and guarantee a positive future for generations coming after us?
It is now incumbent upon the electorate to vote for candidates they believe will steer this country — a one-time jewel of Africa — out of the political and economic crisis it has been subjected to for over a decade.
The 2008 polls failed to produce an outright winner culminating in an “unholy alliance” that has failed to deliver the nation’s expectations as the administration was characterised by accusations and counter accusations.
General mistrust, lack of goodwill and differing policies characterised the Unity Government, resulting in poor governance to the detriment of ordinary citizens.
That episode ends tomorrow, and the choice is in our hands. It is possible to take the country back to the dark past in as much as it is possible to catapult it to the promised land ahead.
That single vote you will cast is your voice, mightier than the sword. That vote is stronger than Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Ncube and Dabengwa put together. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the electoral body organising the polls, must realise the national mandate they are carrying and not let down the people of Zimbabwe. Political leaders have played a pivotal role in preaching peace and castigating violence.
All Zimbabweans need now is an even playing field and non-manipulation of processes so that results are credible and acceptable to both themselves and the international community.
It is a simple choice: Do voters want more of the same or change?