By Patrick Guramatunhu- “One man! One vote!” was clarion call in the fight for independence. Not after independence and certainly not now!
The very fact that blacks were denied a meaningful say, a free vote, in the governance of the country in white ruled Rhodesia spoke volumes. Some people have compared the denying of blacks the vote to the denial of women or of minors the right to vote.
If one is capable of gross injustice against his own mother, wife, daughter and his own children; how much worse injustice will he dish out to a complete stranger!
So “One man! One vote!” was a rallying call that had an instantaneous appeal to every black person, even the most simple-minded ones. “One man! One vote!” was the only sure way to secure a meaningful say in the governance of one’s country and stopping all the injustice those in power can inflict on those with no political voice.
The tragedy in Zimbabwe was that long before the ordinary people had secured their right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country the treacherous and insidious Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies hijacked the revolution to imposed themselves as the country’s new corrupt and tyrannical rulers.
Zimbabwe’s 1980 elections were supposed to be free, fair and credible; they were not. Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies made it clear that if the party did not win the elections, then the civil war would continue.
The people voted to end the war and, once in power, Mugabe and company used their position to undermine the constitution and corrupt state institutions; usurping the people’s freedoms and rights and consolidating the regime’s iron grip on power.
After 40 years of rigging the elections and with the country in total economic meltdown with unemployment a nauseating 90%, basic services such as education and health care all but collapsed, etc.; the ordinary Zimbabweans are, once again, desperate for a meaningful say in the governance of the country. “One man! One vote!” rings with renewed urgency and resonance.
It is most disheartening that Zanu PF leaders continue to turn a deaf ear to the people’s cry for meaningful democratic change. Indeed, the worsening economic situation, has not spared the Zanu PF ruling elite and they are now fighting each other over the ever shrinking national cake like hungry hyenas over the very last scraps of the last carcass.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) and Zanu-PF commissar revealed that war veterans are pushing for automatic slots in party positions and public office positions.
The few party leaders who have managed to hang on to power for the last 40 years are filthy rich; the rest they are as poor as a church mouse. It is little wonder dog fight for office is now a life and death matter.
“We are in the process of selecting candidates to contest in the by elections and DCC and most of the war veterans have said they wanted to be voted to represent the party,” deputy Minister of Defence and Zanu PF commissar Victor Matemadanda said.
“The candidates have to be vetted and approved by the party Politburo and most of the war veterans want an automatic entry into the race as the majority of them have a track record of the party.”
In the past has Zanu PF has relied on war veterans as its foot soldiers to help the party remain in power. The war veterans have done the dirty work of harassing, beating, raping and even the cold-blooded murder of Zanu PF’s political opponents and critics.
The overwhelming majority of war veterans have been elbowed out of the way when it came to benefiting from the party’s 40 years of absolute power. Now they are desperate to get a piece of the action!
Zanu PF thugs, including the party’s foot soldiers the war veterans, are more determined now than ever to retain power at all cost. The talk of meaningful political change and restoring the people’s freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote are completely out of the question.
Whilst the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans are desperate to see “One man! One vote!” finally honoured and something done to end their suffering. They have the greatest fight on their hands; Zanu PF is more determined than ever never to give the ordinary Zimbabwean the vote. Never ever!