I am ready, I am involved, and I am the change! Who still remembers the yellow campaign?
Ideally, Zimbabwe has to hold elections after every five years. Come Election Day, people have to choose the most suitable candidate who will represent their interests and is likely to provide a solution to issues related to their community.
The five-year window period serves as reflection time. Voters should in this time re-evaluate their needs and compare them to manifestos provided by candidates during their campaigns.
At this point, the media plays a critical role to provide citizens with a variety of choices, the pros and cons so that people make informed decisions when selecting their political leaders.
That is the ideal! In Zimbabwe, the game is very different at that level.
People are cultured to vote along party lines, most dominantly being along Zanu PF or MDC political lines.
Voting is not influenced by the candidate’s capability to push the development agenda in a specific area, merely by the political party they are affiliated to.
This is the main reason why the success of independent candidates in Zimbabwe is close to zero. Prominent names like Jonathan Moyo, Temba Mliswa and Margaret Dongo are the only names that are registered as successful in Zimbabwe’s political history.
These three prominent independent leaders, however, had a strong following which they borrowed from Zanu PF.
It’s like people scroll down the voter’s roll looking for the ruins or an open palm.
Think of names like Fadzayi Mahere, Evan Mawarire and Duduzile Nyirongo as candidates who had a strong background, the values and the principles required to stand a chance.
Jessie Majome had a convincing ten year run from 2008 to 2018 as a legislator for Harare West. There was no shadow of doubt on her success as a Member of Parliament.
However, in 2018 she ran as an independent candidate and lost to Joana Mamombe despite all the visible work she had put in as an MP.
This sums up the existing political landscape in Zimbabwe and the existing mindset amongst voters in Zimbabwe as we head for another election in 2023.
Voting merely along political party lines is only but a recipe for failure. Failure we have to endure through the current poor service delivery, lack of proper legislative oversight and the general stunted community development in Zimbabwe.
Citizens must choose leaders who best represent the values and principles of the community that they represent. Someone who can drive social change, build a commune vision and ensure social justice.