While some of us patiently wait for an election that must take place this year without fail, the majority are concerned about the bread and butter issues of the day. It is because of this that I kindly request that we pause, stop and analyse ourselves first even for just a moment. I have always felt that it is easier for us to blame others, blame the system; simply blame someone than for us to take that long look at ourselves and more importantly our actions or lack of.
As I gaze into the distance, I wonder if what I see is in fact the reality. We the people of this beloved country often avoid necessary confrontation and regularly choose the easier option. I fully understand why given our history. However, and please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for another Egyptian style revolution. I am simply advocating for a revolution of some kind, not the one to be televised or tweeted but rather a mental revolution within us.
Instead of buying a bigger generator for our own homes, we could confront the electricity supplier about the simple lack of communication regarding the latest batch of power cuts and/or maintenance work. Instead of ‘making a plan’ to find money to drill a borehole at home because we haven’t received water in our neighbourhood in 4 years, we could just ask the city council to explain why we haven’t had safe and regular water supply. Instead of just accepting the status quo within our communities, we could ask our local MP seeking re-election to show us the people what he/she did with the $50,000 Constituency Development Funds (CDF) for example.
What I am suggesting involves us being a little bit bolder perhaps than we’ve been in the past. I’m not suggesting a mass turn out or an act of defiance by any means but rather a critical look at ourselves, including and not limited to our daily actions.
How are we contributing to the status quo? Do we fully understand what’s going on around us? Are we asking more from the political, economic and social system around us? Are we informed about why things happen the way they do? Do we speak with real authority because we make it our business to be informed citizens? Do we really care? Are the candidates and various decision-makers speaking our language? When I say our language, I’m referring to the bread and butter issues I mentioned earlier on.
To most of us, health services, our kids’ education, continuous and uninterrupted energy supply, job creation, a strong and stable economy are indeed some of the issues that are pertinent to us the people.
The question is, do we share these concerns when we attend rallies or come into contact with potential and other elected officials (especially those seeking re-election). Do we share our aspirations with the decision-makers or do we let them make the decisions for us without our contribution?
What I have learnt in the last few years is that, people won’t understand who you are, what you stand for or what you desire unless you and I communicate this effectively.
Fellow Zimbabweans, today I write to ask you to read and share the manifestos that are circulating around. Be inquisitive about the documents from all parties contesting. Find the people, (if they have not already found you) who represent these political parties. When you do, please ask them to clarify points you and I don’t quite understand. Ask about the CDF and watch the response. That reaction will tell its own story. Sisters and Brothers now more than ever, we need to get involved in the process. There are only a few days left to register to vote as the election date draws closer. Let us arm ourselves with as much knowledge as possible throughout this entire process and beyond. After all, we are the people.
May God bless Zimbabwe!