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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Are we asking ourselves the right questions?
    Talent Trishdar Chademana
    June 28, 2013

    John F. Kennedy taught us to ask the right questions, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. The questions we ask determine the answers and the solutions we get, and that is why today I worry if we, as Zimbabweans are asking the right questions?

    The last decade of Zimbabwe has proven how the politics of a country affects everyone in a very personal way. Over the last decade we’ve seen total chaos, lived in fear of violence, saw the economy completely collapse, and we learned to live with open corruption. In our resilience we also learned to live with lowered standards, but the question is what will Zimbabwe look like in ten years? We’ve heard over and over how much better we are now, and how much further we’ve come but have we aver asked where it is we are going. We’ve come this far, but to what end.

    Everyone is asking is the country ready for another election, will it be free and fair and most importantly, which party will win. The paper published by the Election Resource Centre, Miracle votes (2013), shows that Zimbabweans went out in their numbers, greater than any other time in history to participate in an electoral process. A resounding 3,316,082 ballots were cast, which is 613,807 more votes cast than 1980 House of Assembly Elections, which marked our independence. More people voted for the new constitution in this referendum, despite the fact that the majority had not read it. The question is what was it that 3 million people were so eager to endorse, and what is the result of that resounding “victory”?

    Derek Matyszak, March 05, 2013, in his article Can’t Say No predicted this very situation we are in where the Presidential powers were not curbed and he could call for an election before reforms are carried out. He even suggested that SADC would not fight this if it occurred. Therefore the shocking miracle vote of March 16, 2013, was a population of people who voted for something they did not understand and this is the result of our collective decision, an election that is far from what we had envisioned.

    So instead of asking about the constitutionality of this election, or about who will win, let’s do something different and ask, “What are we really voting for?” The councilor I choose, will he truly represent my interests, or am I simply voting for the banner he flies under for political expediency, and the next 5 years will see more potholes, uncollected rubbish and cholera outbreaks? Will my Representative in the House of Assembly be lining his pockets and forget the name of his constituency for another 5 years? We have all learnt that each vote counts, but if my vote counts what is it being counted for? Will future generations see my ballot as the straw that broke the camel’s back, or the last drop of dew that revived the dying tree?

    All my friends remind me that African politics has never been about the issues, but about the personalities and we have proven that, but Zimbabweans pride themselves in being a cut above the rest. We believe we are more intelligent, smarter, stronger, and wiser and every other positive there is so I beg every Zimbabwean today to be better, and to choose better.

    I am young, and for at least another 30 years, I’ll have to live with the decisions we make in one day. This next election will determine whether I will ever be able to get decent medical treatment, a decent job, or best of all, if I should ever fear my own thoughts and my own tongue least I be freed of my tongue for my speech. Will the flawed document that we resoundingly accepted ever be upheld in its true form and spirit?

    We’ve already made one mistake this year, are we due for another? Will we have yet another miracle vote that will sign away my future, and leave me reliving the past for another 33 years?

    Your vote, my life.

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