Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Campaigns should address bread, butter issues

Views
THE country’s political parties and all actors in this year’s election race need to be reminded that their campaign messages should focus on addressing bread and butter issues.
Issues that affect the poor majority, must leave no room for lies, hate speech and cheap politicking, which incite violence.
Since the coming in of the “new Zanu PF dispensation” last November, we have been made to believe that as Zimbabweans we have come of age and are on a mission to demonstrate to the world that we have gone past the era of violent election campaigns, which characterised former President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year-long reign.
While, so far, the political campaigns have been a bit peaceful, there have been isolated cases of violence, particularly intra-party, as candidates square up against each other in their respective parties’ primary elections.
Once again, the Zimbabwean story will be keenly followed by doomsayers and the international community, with particular interest on Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pledge to ensure peaceful and credible elections.
All the electorate wants to hear are campaign messages centred around the provision of infrastructure, economic transformation, policy and other issues that affect their day-to-day lives. Anything outside that purview will certainly be out of sync with the spirit of genuine electioneering.
There is a growing and worrisome tendency among our politicians to get carried away by cheering crowds at rallies where they end up exaggerating their capacity to deliver or even inciting violence as a means to win the hearts and minds of voters ahead of elections.
We believe the majority of Zimbabwean voters are a seasoned lot and can easily discern between genuine promises and spiced-up truths.
So, politicians ought to stick to the rules of the game and just deliver their messages and leave the voters to judge whether the old and tired personalities in the country’s body politic can deliver or the energised opposition is the best vehicle to take this country to the next level.
The media will also come in handy to fact check and make the politicians account for their public utterances.
Clearly, besides leaving the victims physically and emotionally scarred, violence tends to leave a trail of destruction of property, deaths and even causes internal displacements which take a fortune to redress.
Should we let this happen to our beloved country just because someone is eyeing public office or wants to remain in office to eternity? What benefit is there to gain public office while surrounded by broken limbs and bones?
We urge Zimbabweans to shun violence, campaign peacefully and shame the devil, who expects nothing good to come out of a country once labelled a pariah state.