Corruption watch: Where are the election manifestos?

Ahead of the last elections in 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his fibbing institute pegged their 80-plus page manifesto on creating jobs,

It’s two months and two weeks before we go to the 2023 general elections.

Pain in the wrong place is, there are millions of people out there who have already decided who they are going to vote yet they don’t have a single idea what they are going to vote for.

That’s because none of the competing political parties has told them what they must vote for.

In other words, even given the short time that’s left before the elections, none of the political parties — especially Zanu PF and CCC — has availed its manifesto.

That void, in itself, makes elections such a big, yawning fuss. And that’s the main reason why Yours Truly has always been hollering into the vacuum about how empty this thing called electoral democracy is.

To the extent that, maybe, we seriously need to revise how political leaders and governments must be chosen in Zimbabwe, Africa and the rest of the Third World.

Listen. An election manifesto is not Zakumi the Mascot or something like that at some world cup tourney. 

It’s not a ritualistic election decoration that a party must wave in front of the electorate or launch at a glitzy hotel just to give the optic of how clever that party must be seen as.

Instead, election manifestos are supposed to be serious business. They are the tools that give voters information on the worth of a political party and, therefore, whether or not people must vote for or against it. Well, ideally.

But more importantly, manifestos are a big issue around accountability and transparency. Since they contain the goals, specific actions and promises that a party is making, we are then able to hold the politicians to account on that basis.

To say, look here, if this is what you are promising us, we will or won’t vote you. And, if we do, we are going to be asking questions about those promises when you get into power. Seen?

But what’s happening now is that none of the parties has bothered to tell us what they are going to do for the electorate. Mike Bimha, the Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat, mumbled something in May about delivering a manifesto. Never mind, the commissariat is not running things in Zanu PF anymore,

That role now belongs to the hazy CIO affiliate called Faz. Whatever the case, the absence is fraudulent.

There is one lazy way of looking at it. Maybe these jokers have already become too tired of their persistent lies to the people. Who cares, because Zim politics is about lies, anyway. But there must be some modicum of decency in those lies, comrades.

We know, for instance, that Zanu PF has been telling lofty lies about what it will do and its capacity to do it all these years. Ahead of the last elections in 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his fibbing institute pegged their 80-plus page manifesto on creating jobs, fighting corruption, ensuring development (whatever!) and re-engagement with the international community.

There is little, if anything, to show for that. The only jobs that they have created are for themselves to loot and eat. The only corruption fight they have done is the fight against people who are fighting corruption.

As for development, well, your guess is just as good as the one Long John is going to give you on a hung-over Sunday at the local bottle store. And Long John will tell you between the sips that the clearest development has been lining their pockets as people starved and cried. Re-engagement? Ask the Commonwealth, Britain, the EU and the US if you wanted a clue.

Then, long back then, Nero was talking of spaghetti roads and helipads for every rural household. Not that this was anything that the MDC-A manifesto ever said, if ever the party gave you a manifesto. Give him the benefit of doubt on this one, though. He never got the chance to prove his chicanery because he couldn’t adduce enough evidence to show, at least, that Emmerson Mnangagwa stole the power from right under his nose so, as a result, he remained a moaning opposition leader.

Asking for a manifesto from CCC is just asking for too much. Here is a party — or whatever it is — that doesn’t have a clue whether it’s going or coming. You hear that it’s done some ambiguity strategy of sorts whereby its leaving everyone — except Nelson Chamisa, Fadzayi Mahere and Gift Siziba, the Three Muskteers — guessing on what’s happening in the outfit.

People, including all those fawning and grovelling millions of naïve supporters who just share a common hate for Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, don’t even know whether they are going to vote a party or a cultist gathering of oath takers and keepers. 

So, since CCC is shrouded in secrecy on the hope that opaqueness or a copycat of such will shock Zanu PF out of power, you don’t expect it to favour you with a manifesto any time soon. It weirdly believes that should be left to a day or two before the elections, but there will never be any sense in waylaying voters like that.

There is something that’s bigly clear about the absence of seriousness in educating voters on what Party X or Party Y intends to do, through the aforesaid manifesto. These politicians don’t care a single thing about delivery. Not a single thing about accountability and transparency. All they want is power for the sake of power and the attending perks like sumptuous meals and so on.

Right now, if you were to ask people what it is that’s made them make up their minds about voting CCC, Zanu PF or the perennial Egypt Dzinemunhenzva, you will draw black blanks.

That creates a serious problem. For those that are going to vote the opposition are not going to do it on the basis of any reasonableness. It’s called protest voting. Whereby you vote in favour of someone or something merely because you believe your vote will help get another one out. It’s the most tragic and stupidest way of voting, if you care to ask.

Those that are going to vote Zanu PF, and the numbers are not small, they will do it blindly too. Thick loyalty, eating hypocrisy and opportunism. As already implied, there is nothing in the history of Zanu PF governance between 2018 and now that would make a blind ass hee-haw for that party and its leadership. Yet you see lots of people saying, we are going to vote ED and Zanu PF.

For the what now if these chaps have not told you what they are going to do for you?

Honestly speaking, elections and electoral democracy are the dumbest curse that has ever happened for Africa. Take into account, also, the thefts, disputations and what not that’s associated with those elections.

Electoral democracy is premised on the people having an informed and autonomous right to choose their leaders, but when they are always being used like sheep to the slaughter or asses to the dip tank, you start wondering and wandering.

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

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