HomeOpinionZanu PF prefers to be feared than loved

Zanu PF prefers to be feared than loved

By Denford Magora

WHY should the people of Zimbabwe believe anything government tells us, especially during the Senate election campaign?

serif”>Anyone with at least one brain cell can look back to the March election and examine the promises made to realise that, not only have none of Zanu PF’s election promises been fulfilled, but also that government has made no effort whatsoever to fulfill them.

If anything, it would appear that government and the ruling party are actually going around with a hammer in hand, smashing to smithereens any evidence of putative recovery.

Let us also not forget that the current runaway inflation and intensification of our hardships started as a result of wanton and wasteful expenditure by government in the run-up to, and during the March election when inflation started picking up.

This time around, war collaborators are being given more free money and the Senate itself will also be a big contributor to the rise in inflation.

Because parties are elected on the basis of their records, let us look at the promises made in the Zanu PF manifestos and those made by the president of this country himself during the parliamentary election.

Examining these promises will provide us with a clue as to whether we should take President Mugabe and his people seriously.

Luckily, Zanu PF provided a summarised list of promises in garish, huge, full colour adverts which they placed in newspapers as they campaigned.

These adverts is reproduced promised an end to:

* factory closures;

* withholding of commodities;

* price increases;

* sanctions;

* “No safe haven” for corrupt bankers and

* no disruption to fuel supplies.

The list also promised “a faster economic turnaround and more foreign currency inflows”.

After you have finished laughing, consider this: when Zanu PF placed this joke in the newspapers in the run-up to the election, we assumed they had a plan to achieve them.

Inflation at the time was going down and, sure enough, the ruling party, as soon as it was elected, turned inflation around so that it started skyrocketing again.

As for the claim that there would be an end to price increases, we know that prices have shot up to levels unimaginable in the run-up to the March election. Commodities are still in short supply, withheld by “racists” or not.

As for bankers not finding a safe haven, we all know how that has progressed, with some people rumoured to actually have been helped to skip the country by the ruling party or its functionaries.

And this thing about “more foreign currency inflows”?

As soon as they got elected, the ruling party started telling us that there was no foreign currency inflows coming into the country.

Not only that, but they also apparently could not do anything about it. So we had to accept this excuse and forget about the election promise.

After all, it was just a promise made insincerely and everyone should have known that at the time.

Fuel supplies, disrupted by racists or not, have now completely dried up.

The ruling party also talked about the desire to end sanctions. What they did not say is that their plan to “end sanctions” consisted of merely asking (MDC leader) Morgan Tsvangirai to use his immense power and influence with the Western powers to get this done.

All these promises were clearly not worth the paper they were written on.

Let us hear no justification about what Tony Blair and George Bush are doing, and to whom.

President Mugabe and Zanu PF knew their status in the eyes of the world when they made these promises. Either the promises factored in those challenges and government had a plan to overcome them, or they were insincere. We all know what the truth is.

So, what hope is there when our own leaders treat us like idiots with amnesia?

In the light of these broken promises, why should the educated people of this country listen anymore to anything the president and his self-serving friends (or should I call them fiends) have to promise this time?

Faith has been shattered, naturally. Those who cast their votes for Zanu PF now realise that not only were they led up a garden path, but they were also used, lied to and taken for buffoons.

It is bloody cheek then, is it not, for the same liars to come back to the electorate and ask for votes again, and with a straight face?

Would it be too much to expect at least some shame? Remorse? Less hard-headedness?

It appears it would be too much to expect indeed.

So, what do we do then?

In the rural areas, the party has fudged the issue so successfully that villagers now don’t know the difference between ineptitude and Blair.

But in the cities, the decay is felt most acutely. The lies are exposed within a matter of days. It is here that the people should really humiliate Zanu PF.

Even those who normally vote for this corpse of a party should be urged to show their displeasure at being taken for a bumpy ride.

Ideally, the ruling party should get less than half a percentage point of the urban vote.

Ruling party lackeys at cell, district and provincial levels should all deny the party their votes. Whether they vote for another party or candidate, or not at all, is immaterial.

Only this will prove to the insular, out-of-touch leadership of this country that the people are indeed incandescent with rage.

This government provides nothing for the people now except comic entertainment. Unfortunately, no nation can survive on comic entertainment alone. What we need is substance.

On the evidence of these broken promises, any last fig-leaves of credibility it had, disappeared in the aftermath of the March parliamentary election.

The government can force people to fear it, but it can never force people to love it as they did in the 1980s. That is gone forever. But it appears that the ruling party has decided that it is better to be feared than loved.

It’s pure Machiavelli, but it is also outdated. This party will live to regret this decision, as surely as night follows day.

* Denford Magora is a Harare-based marketing executive.

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