Sunday, June 10, 2018

The 2018 Elections: Triumph of the Zimbabwean Idea
OPINION & ANALYSIS CONTRIBUTOR
Dr Richard Runyararo Mahomva
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Days of rented ideas are now over, hence an endpoint for the torn opposition’s influence to a particular section of the electorate.

The people of Zimbabwe’s appointment date with the ballot is now set.

All political diversity will revel in the abundance of the pleasure of our beautiful country’s democracy. Efforts have been —and are still being made to eclipse the beautiful aesthetics of diverse political ideas.

In the multiplicity of numerous and widely mainstreamed ideas, there is  that might idea that will certainly take the trophy home.

That triumphant idea is never new. It is as old as the very imagination of any people’s claim to be a nation.

That idea forms the bedrock of national interest; it also informs the commemorative pretexts of national togetherness.

In our context, this idea resurrects the history which the urbanites have been made to believe is irrelevant as it sustains the gothic and the relic, if not the primordial.

In short, we have nurtured constructed obliviousness to the past to accommodate political parties with no intimate link to the idea(s) which make us a people and a nation.

Only recently, this attempt to bury the past almost led to the collapse of Zanu-PF had not nationalist will been allowed to put the party to order.

Prior to that, there has been the reality of the opposition’s fight against the ruling party’s historically rooted legitimacy.

The diminishing of Zanu-PF’s proximity to the monumental essence of that idea of Zimbabwe has been prompted as the country is heading towards elections.

I remember attending some civic society organised election dialogue platforms in the past month.

The tone and the agenda setting is one which is centred on the melodramatic rhetoric projection of a looming crisis.

One of such platforms ran under the theme “What if the elections are not free, fair and credible?”

Through the seemingly crisis pre-emptive posit of concern — on potential human rights desecration, state violence and inverse public retaliation as has been part of our past elections — these groupings want to generate a false reality of a hostile and volatile political environment.

The underpinning premise of such public conversations is to mobilise the academia, civil society and the general populace to aggressively confront the democratic mandate which Zimbabwe must fulfil in next month.

Surprisingly, these academics and civic society election experts seem to be reading events from a perspective that is withdrawn from the reality of President Mnangagwa’s push for a free election.

In all their analyses, the role of the invited international observer community is ignored.

None of these minds has considered that while ZANU-PF has declared to accept the election outcome the opposition has not emphatically done the same.

Clearly, the convening of such platforms, when elections are around the corner, are aimed at motivating defeated ideas which might throw the nation into disarray.

This has been part of the NGOs’ old time ZANU-PF demonisation agenda. It is not new.

The NGOs’ fall from paradise

Now with donor fatigue’s annihilating effect to the superficial importance of the regime change social movements and civil society, there is certainly no doubt that their propaganda has a marginal set of buyers in the current market of ideas.

Now it is a political waste of time to try and gather cliques they can’t afford to pay so that they buy into their agenda.

Days of rented ideas are now over, hence an endpoint for the torn opposition’s influence to a particular section of the electorate.

What this regime-change campaign capital-stripped civil society is engaged in is popularising the myth of an impending political crisis.

Zimbabwe’s erstwhile political instability and the then hazarded absence of democracy became a source of capital for most politically driven civic society groups.

These types of NGOs became the most lucrative employers. Their directors all across the country were the “rich and famous”.

Through false reporting on the state of affairs to various foreign policy desks of Western countries which had an interest in Zimbabwe’s politics; these NGOs brokered the opposition’s lobby for exigent fall of ZANU-PF under pretentious pretexts of democracy.

Today, the opposition has torn itself with no relevant ideas which can position it to power.

Generational Consensus?

Certainly, it sounded like a mega idea — until a few brilliant minds starting interrogating why this idea of generational renewal only emerged after the death of the founding leader of opposition.

If you remember not so long ago this was the idea that was used by my dear professor in a bid to dismantle ZANU-PF under the auspices of the G40 demographic reconfiguration of the Zimbabwean political landscape.

Now it is clear that the generational renewal discourse in both ZANU-PF and opposition has served factional interests.

In the case of MDC, Nelson Chamisa used the generational renewal to position himself to power and eliminate Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri.

Chamisa has also used the generation change of the faces to power to give influential positions to his proxies in the party.

In the process, the old guard is being elbowed out of the game — including Jessie Majome, who is among the founding stalwarts of the MDC.

In ZANU-PF, the same approach was applied in an attempt to curtail the relevance of those who drew their legitimacy to be ZANU-PF from the past and loyally abiding in the party’s traditions and values.

Surprisingly, those deemed as old by the generational consensus have produced a manifesto much earlier than Chamisa’s youthful party. Khupe’s MDC also released its manifesto. Therefore, Chamisa’s failure to produce a manifesto until the very last minute is telling of his lack of solid policy deliverables ahead of the coming election.

Now it is about statecraft and not ageism.

While on that, it is crucial to look at the undercurrents of Chamisa’s hostile relationship with the truth.

This is why he thinks false claims of proximity to Donald Trump and Paul Kagame will avail political fortunes for him.

What Chamisa forgets is that proximity does not entail destiny nor does it translate to equivalence. Claiming ownership to Dr Joshua Nkomo’s curios will never transfigure one to the gallant political status of Father Zimbabwe.

Sadly, even those he imposes acquaintance to they reject him.

Trump’s administration denounced his claim and President Kagame has went further to dismiss that he had any contact with the chap.

Without any dot of shame Chamisa took it upon himself to narrate the time he shared his concept paper to President Kagame through his aide all in an effort to prove his claimed immense contribution to Rwanda’s ICT Policy.

Surely, if his contribution was meaningful to Rwanda as he claims why would President Paul Kagame be so remiss to claim that he does not know Nelson? Why?

Vene vedzino nyika vachauya

Social media — the sycophancy and blind loyalty to trivial talk thereof has overshadowed the reality of organic politics in determining the outcome of this election.

The urbanite engrossment to Facebook and Twitter politics is usually ignorant of the more than one million families which benefited from the land reform.

This ignored multitude of registered voters is involuntary reminded by the soles of their feet which saunter on the land reclaimed through hondo yeminda to vote for Zanu-PF.

Their ownership of land is a tale for generations to come that indeed ZANU-PF carries upon its bosom the restoration of Black human dignity.

These villagers will never share a tale of the bullet trains. The spaghetti roads do not matter to them. What is inscribed in their hearts and in the hearts of those liberated from the past that coloniality wanted to erase is that foot trail path that leads to Njelele. The path that the ancestors walked in search of ideas of the divine power to initiate the Chimurenga.

That is the metaphysical path that shall usher the virgin Mwanawevhu voter to that sacred memory lane of how of Chimoio and Nyadzonia are not mere history to be truncated by the narrow rhetoric of electoral reforms, securing democracy and human rights from those who once denied us humanity — and those from whom we grabbed democracy through the gun.

Certainly, it is not borrowed ideas that will define the outcome of this election.

It is not fake attempts to erase the relevance of the past which will win this election. In fact, the past will claim its place in the present.

Dr Mahomva wrote this article in his personal capacity for The Sunday Mail

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