By Tendai Ruben Mbofana
DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Your Excellency, although results of the recently-held by-elections were anything but surprising, with the romping to victory of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in 19 out of the 28 constituencies up for grabs — the biggest embarrassment was, however, saved for the ruling Zanu PF, whose false promises, and ruinous policies, clearly failed to sway the vote in its favour.
What, nonetheless, stands out as glaringly as the sun on a clear day, is that a political party — which has been in charge of the country for 42 years and wantonly abused State institutions to its benefit, while dishing out national resources for campaign purposes — but, still dismally failed to overcome a two-month-old opposition.
This is not just a new baby — having been declared by the country’s highest court as not being the real MDC, Parliament following suit by agreeing to massive recalls of its elected representatives (leading to the by-elections), thereby being deprived of State funding and head offices forcibly grabbed, leaving it with nothing linking it to the party formed by Morgan Richard Tsvangirai in 1999 and without a single resource on its side.
Your Excellency, notwithstanding that CCC did not have any title deeds to dangle to the electorate, or so-called presidential borehole drilling scheme, presidential input scheme, presidential heifer scheme, presidential fishery scheme, or any other scheme to talk about, neither did it have the State media at its disposal or an electoral body to favour it or law enforcement agents to harass opponents — yet, managed to outperform the ruling party, with all its heavy guns.
As such, when this new party entered the just-ended by-elections, it had no seat to talk about, neither did it have anything to its name — but managed to garner the bulk of the seats on offer.
Let us not forget that all the seats available were a result of the recalling of Members of Parliament and councillors who had pledged allegiance to Nelson Chamisa and his group which had been stripped bare of any semblance of a party (even being declared an nonentity by the courts). The electoral wins, also meant that it grabbed votes from MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, who had been given the party on a silver platter by the courts and government.
Your Excellency, that to me, is a victory of victories, never seen in the history of this country.
All the other contesting political parties managed to do was either retain their previous seats, plus one or two (as did Zanu PF) or lose everything (as happened to the MDC-T and MDC Alliance).
Nonetheless, the question that easily comes to mind is, why did a two-month-old party manage to upstage the 59-year-old ruling party that had every State resource at its disposal?
I short, urban dwellers resoundingly rejected Zanu PF’s half-baked so-called two-bit “development”.
Interestingly, yesterday I had vibrant discussions with some Zanu PF ardent supporters who chose to disparage those who voted for the opposition CCC, as some foolish individuals without any understanding of politics and who are driven by hunger.
Of course, I responded by asserting that, even those who voted for Zanu PF were driven by starvation and impoverishment (ironically, engineered by the same party) — and were only after those so-called “empowerment projects” and “schemes”, in the hope of some reprieve from gnawing hunger and pennilessness.
However, I continued, the majority of those who voted knew better than returning to office those who callously presided over their miserable lives in the first place — the ruling elite that has unquenchable appetite for looting and plunger of national resources. The same people who implemented ruinous economic policies, and engaged in gross mismanagement.
Your Excellency, admittedly, there will be those who allow themselves to become desperate enough to fall for shallow and laughable “empowerment programmes” and endless “schemes” but the majority of us know exactly what we want in life, and will never settle for the mediocre and sub-standard.
Even in personal relationships, there are those ladies who will be more than satisfied with being “pampered” by their suitors with maputi and jiggies — regarding this as the best date ever, and a sign of “good living”. However, those who have any measure of self-respect and self-worth want and expect better.
The majority of the electorate has sent a very loud, unequivocal message to Zimbabwe’s ruling elite, that we are not second-class citizens, and we will never settle for second-rate “development” — while, those in power swim in abundant opulence at taxpayers’ expense.
We will not accept boreholes in towns and cities, when we have taps in our homes that are there specifically to provide continuous running water.
We refuse to beg for “empowerment projects” like heifer rearing, or poultry farming, or gold panning when we are trained professionals, who should be living comfortably on our chosen fields.
Why should our mothers and fathers be seen jumping with joy as they receive free inputs and handouts when in a normal economy we should be able to sustain and fend for ourselves?
Why would anyone celebrate after being promised title deeds, possibly for properties built illegally, and on unsuitable land when we should be able to purchase our own homes, in properly serviced and legally constituted suburbs?
We will never settle for dehumanising treatment, as some compromise due to State-authored poverty and lack!
We will never accept to be treated like second-class citizens in our own country when our so-called leaders lead lavish lives at the taxpayer’s expense.
If there are those who have resigned themselves to the sub-standard and mediocre life the Zanu PF regime is subjecting us to, that’s fine — but, the rest of us have asserted that we know what we are worth and what we deserve.
And what we are worth and deserve is more than what Zanu PF has to offer and can deliver.