…do not be afraid to vote for ZANU PF for it is best for the kind of a country you want to have…
By Dr Masimba Mavaza| Zimbabweans vote every five years to exercise the right which they were given through blood. The freedom to vote was watered by the blood of the heroes some are planted in unmarked graves dotted in the region. Many were blown into pieces by bombs as they fought for every Zimbabwean to have a right to chose his own leader. One man one vote was the battle cry. Since 1980 Zimbabweans have come home to their own provinces or towns to vote with their fellow kinsman. Their people have voted there in Uzumba Matamba Pfungwe , Dotito Tsholotsho and every part of Zimbabwe for more than four decades. The first free and fair democratic vote was cast in 1980.
In August ten million Zimbabweans are eligible to vote. It is our hope hope that all of those millions will vote.
We like to think of these millions as individual citizens from Matebeleland to Mashonaland to Manicaland and to Masvingo with all towns farmers who stop their fall plowing long enough to walk into town with their wives—wage earners stopping on the way to work or the way home—business and professional men and women—town and city housewives—and that great company of youth for whom this year’s first vote will be a great adventure.
Zimbabweans under ZANU PF have had to put up with a good many things in the course of our history. But the only rule we have ever put up with is the rule of the majority. That is the only rule we ever will put up with. Spelt with a capital letter P we are all Patriots.
In some places in the world the tides are running against democracy. But our faith has not been unsettled. We believe in democracy because of our traditions. But we believe in it even more because of our experience it came through blood and it is enchored by lives of our children our fathers our brothers and sisters.
Here in Zimbabwe we have been a long time at the business of self-government. The longer we are at it the more certain we become that we can continue to govern ourselves, that progress is on the side of majority rule, that if mistakes are to be made we prefer to make them ourselves and to do our own correcting through ZANU PF.
When you and I stand in line in August for our turn at the polls, we shall stand in a line which reaches back across the entire history of our Nation. Our heroes fought so that we stand in that line. All these—in their day-waited their turn to vote. And rubbing elbows with them—their voting equals—is a long succession of Zimbabwean citizens whose names are not known to history but who, by their vote, helped to make history.
Every man and every woman who has voted in the past has had a hand in the making of the Zimbabwe of the present. Every man and woman who votes will have a hand in the making of the zimbabwe of the future. To refuse to vote is to say: “I am not interested in the Zimbabwe of the future.”
We who live in a free Zimbabwe know that everything is not perfect. But we are beginning to know also that, in self-government as in many other things, progress comes from experience.
People do not become good citizens by mandate. They become good citizens by the exercise of their citizenship and by the discussions, the reading, the campaign give-and-take which help them make up their minds how to exercise that citizenship.
Not only are people voting in larger numbers this year. They also know more this year than ever before about the real issues. They are thinking for themselves and the future of their country and children.
We doubt if there was ever more downright political intelligence at the average Zimbabwean fireside than there is today.
For four decades and a half we have had here free choices and a free press, free public forums and a free pulpit. For more than four decades we have had a free communications. The Zimbabwean citizen of today therefore, is a product of free institutions. His mind has been sharpened by the exercise of freedom. That is why we have no fear either of the threats of demagogues or the ambitions of puppets. Neither can get far nor long thrive among a people who have learned to think for themselves and who have the courage to act as they think.
This year they have thought things through to a point where the eternal simplicities mean more than the fuzz-buzz of technical talk. They know that the important thing is the spirit in which ZANU PF will face problems as they come up, and the values it will seek to preserve or to enhance. At bottom those are the things that count. A greater job has been started to revamp our economy. So it has to be finished. It can only be possible if we all vote ZANU PF.
This year, not only are more people voting, not only have people thought things through more carefully; but more people in all parties have assumed the obligation of citizens to get out and work in the political process by which democracy maintains itself.
It is a fact that ZANU PF has done wonders under the new dispensation. each and every one who is interested in obtaining the facts and in spreading those facts abroad, each and every one of you interested in getting at the truth that lies somewhere behind the smoke-screen of lies being spread by the detractors just look around you. Roads are being rehabilitated. The infrastructure is being revamped. Our economy is wriggling its head out of the global depression.
Hundreds of thousands have seen the truth.As Zimbabwe we salute those who see the truth and vote for ZANU PF not only with personal gratitude but with the gratitude of a democracy that can only function if its people are willing to take the honorable part in it.
We also commend those who have worked in a similar honorable way in the opposition and have seen the light and now are voting for ED Mnangagwa and ZANU PF. They, too, have helped the public understand the issues before it, and that is a service to democracy. We have seen brave opposition members who have realised their mistakes. Just to name but a few we have Senetor Timveos, Cde Chebundo and many others. These deserve our salute as we march towards the election month.
Zimbabwe with you confidently looks forward to your continued cooperation in the service of democracy. As we vote there should be no bitterness or hate where the sole thought is the welfare of Zimbabwe. That applies to men and women in all parties. It is true, today It will be true after the election.
When ED Mnangagwa is elected he will become the President of all the people. It will be his concern to meet the problems of all the people with an understanding mind and with no trace of partisan feeling.
ED Mnangagwa welcomes any Zimbabwean citizen or group of citizens who can offer constructive suggestions for the management of government or for the improvement of laws.
Society needs constant vigilance and the interest of individual men and women.
And when you go to the ballot box do not be afraid to vote for ZANU PF for it is best for the kind of a country you want to have. In Zimbabwe when it comes to polls we are all equals.
It is an experience in responsibility and humility to be permitted, as President, to know and share the hopes and the difficulties, the patience and the courage, the victories and the defeats of this great people.
Sometimes men wonder overmuch what they will receive for what they are giving in the service of a democracy—whether it is worth the cost to share in that struggle which is a part of the business of representative government. But the reward of that effort is to feel that they have been a part of great things, that they have helped to build, that they have had their share in the great battles of their generation.
However large or small our part, we can all feel with Theodore Roosevelt who said many years ago: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his country shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory.”
Zimbabwe is the only country we can call ours in the whole world. Let us all register to vote and vote for ZANU PF.