Manifesto no show: Zanu PF fleeing own ghost

The party, through the manifesto it gave in 2018, was fulfilling its obligations under a social contract it made for that period.

Imagine you are a bachelor who has made up his mind to throw some lass into the kitchen as they say, and you go: “Hey, marry me because I gave you money to go to school”.

It could just as well be that he was robbing banks or stealing from the woman’s late father’s estate.

But then, even if he was using his own well-gotten money to sponsor her education, just about everything is wrong with the bachelor’s sense of dessert.

On a scale of one to 10, it’s blackmail.

Getting married is not going back into the past.

 It’s about the future, so you can’t be using history to deal with tomorrow in such a manner.

You need to show your future worth and leave the damsel to judge you on your past if she so wants.

Same thing is happening in Zanu PF politics as we go to elections.

 The party is saying it won’t do a manifesto — read promises of what it will do in the next five years — because it has been doing “good” things in the past five years.

It’s not clear who told Zanu PF that it has the capacity to define and describe what’s good for the people.

But, whatever the case, its decision not to produce and share a manifesto is so wrong. Just as in the case of the bachelor, it’s blackmailing people.

The thinking is weirdly cheeky. If I’m good, you must vote me in.

I have been good in the past. If I have been good in the past, I will be good tomorrow.

I will, therefore, be good tomorrow, so you must vote me in.

If things were that easy, we wouldn’t have such things as soccer tournaments, as another example.

Imagine Dynamos or Highlanders saying we will qualify for CAF tournaments this year because we scored many goals last year.

Let’s, for argument sake at this stage, assume that Zanu PF is telling the truth that it has been doing an awesome job since 2018 when it got a fresh mandate to rule us, albeit controversially, especially at the presidential level.

The purported good work has no relevance for the coming election and the next five years.

The work was meant to fulfill the promises made around the last electoral cycle.

 The party, through the manifesto it gave in 2018, was fulfilling its obligations under a social contract it made for that period.

Nothing more.

There must be a fresh pack of pledges for the period up to 2028.

 And, as will be said hereunder, a big apology for lying about what Zanu PF could do between 2018 and now.

Here is the thing. A manifesto is not just a ritualistic decoration.

 It’s a document that people who want power must give to the people to enable them to decide whether those politicians are worth the votes.

There is this thing we call informed decision. Voters must decide on the basis of what the manifesto says.

Without that, electoral democracy becomes a big farce.

Meaning that if people walk into the ballot box blank, they might just as well go hunting mice.

Democracy is a government of the people, by the people, for the people, as Abraham Lincoln said back then.

This means that people must be involved in matters of government, elections included.

 If people are in the dark about who their leaders are or what they represent, they are not part of the process.

They lack the independence to decide and act, so are mere pawns. Failing to give people manifestos to help them make decisions, therefore, reduces them to mere pawns.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party are playing God, and that is blasphemous as much as it is futile.

That’s possibly the reason why Zanu PF called itself the “Voice of God” in its manifesto of 2018.

God created the world in seven days and rested. The rest, for him, is routine work. In his case, that’s understandable because he is God.

Now, Zanu PF thinks it gave us the world in the past five years and thinks the rest is routine.

 In their own mind, they have already arrived and everything else belongs to the periphery. The sun is shining through the party and ED bowels.

One thing is very clear.

 Forget all that hullabaloo about Zanu PF having done good deeds that must be used to judge it, going forward.

The governing party has not performed as well as it would want us to believe.

In its 2018 manifesto, the party promised heaven in heaven, but, as it were, is still working with the kite in the age of ultrasonic jets, so to speak.

 It promised hospitals, drugs and medical equipment. All it’s done is to build one or two health outposts that it called clinics.

 But then, even these don’t have drugs. That is precisely the reason why the first lady, Auxillia, has been gallivanting round the villages with Panadol in her handbag.

The party said it was going to eradicate — that’s the exact word it used—tribalism.

In its almanac of self-praise, it’s no wonder the party is not talking about this anymore. It knows it told a whole heap of lies on this one.

Just look at who is occupying most of the key positions in government, the security sector and other public departments.

Folks from Karangaland, where, by the way, I also hail from.

You don’t eradicate tribalism by replacing Zezuru hegemony — as was the case in Mugabe’s time — with Karanga hegemony.

The governing party said it was going to re-engage the world, to mean the western world.

It almost fooled the UK in the early days, but the rest is history.

The Commonwealth remains a pie in the high sky.

Relations with almost all the European and western nations remain strained over human rights abuses and bad governance.

They said they would turn the economy into a first world economy in no time. Truth, though, is that we remain stuck in a medieval economy.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, predictably, has been lying about our economy in the past month or so.

On at least two occasions, he told doting attendants — as opposed to supporters — at his rallies that Zimbabwe was the fastest growing economy in Southern Africa. 

That’s a big fib. The fastest growing economies are Botswana and Eswatini. Zimbabwe is only the fastest growing market.

While this may be good in itself, there is a whole world between a market and an economy.

The market — most likely a dumping ground — can grow as long as Satan’s horns but that doesn’t necessarily mean the economy will grow too, let alone develop.

The truth is that Zimbabwe was the fastest growing economy in the world between 2009 and 2013, during the government of national unity.

And hey, do you remember the party promising to also eradicate corruption?

This is not heaven, where you have zero corruption. But then, the regime has been breastfeeding corruption, instead. All the way from Draxgate to Pomona then Mbudzi bypass.

They said, heh, we will build houses, heh we will give you schools and even feed the kids at those schools and more. Really?

The list, of course, is long. Very long. The party is lying about its achievements. It’s called propaganda.

 Nobody is going to worry about propaganda as it is to be expected.

What’s particularly worrying is that Zanu PF is trying to run away from its own shadow. Or ghost.

It knows it has told so many lies it wants to pretend those lies are truth. But then, it also knows that telling more lies will not work.

It doesn’t want to spend the rest of its life accounting for its lies.

For the party, the best thing to do, then, is to say there is no need to make a pledge to the electorate. And that becomes the latest lie from Shake-Shake House.

*Tawanda Majoni writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted on [email protected]

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