‘Political messaging too narrow’

0
1842
Gift-Ostallos-Siziba--CCC

By Sharon Buwerimwe

IN Europe and other First World countries, politics has proven to be a preserve for sharp minds and there is little room for opportunists riding on good accents.

The same does not hold true in the case of Zimbabwe where political messaging has become too narrow as parties focus on winning polls, according to analysts.

The point is perfectly captured by the Citizens Coalition for Change deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba at recent debate hosted by a local radio station: “You know that in rallies we campaign in poetry and in boardrooms we govern in prose. What we say in rallies is about galvanising societies.

“So, you have to speak the language of the oppressed. People are a political rally not in a boardroom where you have to speak clear that we are talking about foreign direct investments, local driven private programmes of our people, you can not do that at a rally.”

Political analyst Effie Ncube said political parties should add depth to their campaign promises government noted that Zanu PF was running out of ideas considering its failure to deliver on its promises, for the past 42 years.

“The opposition promises are realistic because they have not been in power and that means their promises have not failed, but for Zanu PF the promises are just meant to get the votes.

“They have 42 years of failing to deliver on their promises and some promises they are making today were made in 1980 and none of these materialised. So, what they say today is the same as what they said years ago,” Ncube said.

Academic and Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) director Pedzisai Ruhanya noted that political parties’ promises should be measured on their previous elections.

“The public must audit what these political parties said in the previous elections and if these political parties say things that they said in 2018 then they must not be taken seriously,” Ruhanya said.

“Particularly MDC and Zanu PF have been campaigning for some time and they promised a lot of things that they have not fulfilled. So, on that basis, the media has a role to make these politicians accountable.

“They promised to increase civil servants salaries in 2018 and they did not increase the salaries. What makes them think the public will trust them this time around. So, what these politicians are saying must be measured on their previous promises.”

“While this is a by-election campaign for March 26, one obviously sees rhetoric and promises being made are beyond the scope of a by-election season, but the focus is on 2023 elections. So, we see the launch of protracted presidential election campaigns by parties one year to the election. The effect is that it is a 2023 campaign happening when most political players have not yet developed their manifestos and policy proposals. So, they may not sound refined, coherent and credible at the moment,” another political analyst Vivid Gwede said.

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said political parties should be judged on how they expect to address challenges that are crippling the country.

“The challenge is that promises being made by political parties seems to be narrowly focusing on our present challenges, issues of infrastructural development, lack of access to water and issues around the working conditions of civil servants.

“All the political parties seem to be talking at a surface level and seeking to score points by talking about issues that are more prominent. They should be detailed on how they are going to address the  challenges we are facing. I have not heard of a deeper analysis of the challenges that this country is facing,” Mukundu said.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe