Theoretically, the study circles, if I may call them that, are to trade news, information and gossip about what will be the candidate’s latest offers — money, beer, or food handouts.
For the most part though, they do not discuss or talk about development promises made; promises made on real and feasible development projects that uplift local living standards and growth. There are several questions which hardly come out of these local discussions: Is our aspiring candidate hard working? Is he or she accountable and transparent? What is his background? Of what benefit will he or she be to the community? Any feasible development plan? And why not sign up a memorandum of understanding or agreement with him or her on the promises?
The last question is of essence to this treatise. The aspiring legislator needs to enter some form of agreement with the people so as to collectively remember to address what has been agreed on.
There is a world of difference between saying something in promise and then not delivering. By promising, one must ensure that he or she is responsible for what is said and there must be a bi-partisan agreement that enforces and binds those promises.
This would make it harder not to fulfill promises or carry out unlawful and heinous acts.
Adhering to such localised conventions, it would not be easy for state actors to avoid being exposed by the populace. There is a generation of a rising people, well-read and conversant with modern-day politics, which will no longer be pushed around at a politician’s will.
Undoubtedly, never has the Zimbabwean populace suffered so much, especially in the past 12 years.
From the scope of its laws, the majority are without rights, dehumanised and traumatised. Yet there is a way of moving away from this state and that is to let aspiring legislators sign up MOUs with their people.
Zimbabwe should move away from the legacy of Zanu PF politicians and create and usher in state actors who live what they teach or promise the populace.
In many ways,
leaders of days gone by show-ed that people should do what has been promised and agreed, that conscience is a matter between oneself and God and that nobody owns anyone. That is a simple straight line.
Zimbabweans are an intelligent lot and have the potential creative energy to overcome the current difficulties if given the chance to select and elect their leaders whom they want to lead them.
Zimbabwe has come from years of political violence, periods of denied prayer meetings, have experienced some years of brute evictions, yes, years of trials and tribulations. Let us build a country on the conviction that nobody in the country can make agreements alone or even hold elections alone but that we are a country with conscience.
Further reinforcing the MOU theory, local politicians need to take an assessment of the needs of their own people from time to time and not only at election time and agree, not only verbally but in black and white on pertinent issues. Some legislators have shown the way by using their Constituency Development Funds in consultation with their communities.
As we revisit the use of CDFs, let the authorities facilitate the formation of committed Constituency Development Committees that will help expedite local needs assessments and the resultant agreements.