WINNING an election is often seen as the ultimate goal for politicians, as it gives them the power and authority to enact change.
However, it is essential to recognise that winning an election is merely the starting point of a larger journey towards effective governance and fulfilling the promises made during the campaign period.
This article delves into the reasons why winning an election is just the beginning and explores the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead in light of the recently concluded harmonised elections.
The transition from campaigning to governing is a crucial phase requiring a shift in mindset and approach.
While campaigning focuses on making promises and winning the trust of the electorate, governing involves translating those promises into practical policies and actions.
It necessitates strategic planning, consensus-building, and collaboration with various stakeholders.
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Once elected, public officials must deliver on their campaign promises.
This involves navigating complex bureaucracies, legislative processes, and public opinion.
It is essential to prioritise the most pressing issues, set realistic goals and formulate comprehensive strategies to achieve them.
The success of an elected official is measured by the ability to execute their agenda effectively.
In a democratic system, winning an election does not guarantee a majority or unanimous support for one’s policies.
Building coalitions and consensus becomes crucial for effective governance.
Elected officials must engage with other political parties, interest groups, and stakeholders to garner support for their initiatives.
This requires negotiation, compromise, and finding common ground to advance the interests of the nation as a whole.
Winning an election may raise public expectations, and it is within the citizens’ rights to hold elected officials accountable for delivering on their promises.
It is important to maintain transparency, communicate progress, and manage public opinion.
A failure to meet expectations can lead to disillusionment, loss of credibility and difficulties in future governance.
Winning an election does not shield officials from the inherent challenges of governance.
Economic crises, civil unrest, and other unexpected events can put elected officials to the test.
Effective leadership requires adaptability, resilience and the ability to make necessary decisions during difficult times.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the holding of periodical elections after every five years.
This means that a single term for elected officials lasts for a period not exceeding five years.
However, winning an election is not just about short-term accomplishments, it is about leaving a lasting impact on society.
It is, therefore, prudent that elected officials lay the groundwork for future generations, ensuring continuity and sustainability in policies and initiatives.
Brighton Taruberekera is a political and development consultant, writer and researcher. He is the author of Ideas That Work: A Community Leader’s Handbook. He can be contacted on 0788 843 229/[email protected]. He writes here in his personal capacity.