Rude Awakening or Just Political Euphoria

MDC Alliance Leader Nelson Chamisa and President Mnangagwa
MDC Alliance Leader Nelson Chamisa and President Mnangagwa

By Tawanda Munyanyi.

President Robert Mugabe’s ouster in November 2017 brought with it  some measure of socioeconomic transformation across the country.

Many observers were tempted to view Mugabe’s demise as just the panacea that Zimbabwe needed, with what seemed to be a new democratic order finally in place.

Pertinent questions, however, started popping up with regards to the authenticity of the newly found ‘freedoms’.

Admittedly, the show of courage by placards wielding Zimbabweans into the streets in November 2017 deserves special mention.

The demonstrations had all the hallmarks of a global character, as besides Zimbabweans from across the country, international media institutions were also present to witness the mammoth occasion.

The outcome, which was effectively sanctioned by the military, was an historical event

Disappointingly, though, there has been an encroachment of negative consequences into the revolution.

Hard on the heels of the revolution came the loss by death of iconic opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC T.

But the 2018 harmonised elections appear now to be casting a dark shadow over the revolution that swept away long time dictator, Mugabe.

In Zimbabwe, campaign period has mainly, if not mostly, been marked by both intraparty and inter party animosities.

The Mugabe-run elections have, for long, been a declaration of war.

Zimbabwe’s elections are meant for anytime up to 21 July at the latest.

Zimbabwe is already in elections mode, with youthful MDC T leader and presidential aspirant for the MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, already running a tight campaign schedule.

Chamisa’s rallies across Zimbabwe have attracted reasonable gatherings.

There have been claims, however, that the MDC Alliance has been renting crowds to its rallies to create a false impression of popularity among voters in Zimbabwe.

The MDC Alliance has scorned at the allegations.

To date, Chamisa has convened rallies in Matebeleland, Chinhoyi, Murehwa, among other places.

But what do the huge gatherings at Chamisa’s campaign rallies so far imply?

Are these Chamisa gatherings an indicator of a Zimbabwe that is reawakening, particularly in the aftermath of dictator Mugabe’s demise?

Are the huge gatherings at MDC Alliance rallies an acknowledgement that Zimbabweans are now in for something not less than absolute democracy?

Is youthfulness now the do thing and game changer in Zimbabwe?

Many political analysts agree that they have had torrid moments trying to make out to the implications of such enthusiasm by the electorate on MDC Alliance’s campaign rallies.

Some have attributed such enthusiasm and attendance to a change of tact by the new Emmerson Mnangagwa regime.

Under President Mnangagwa, the impression has so far been that freedoms must no longer be curtailed in the interest of democracy.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), including other security apparatuses, has now become more humane, never thwarting ruthlessly any attempts by the opposition  political parties to gather ‘illegally’.

President Mnangagwa’s government has now made it clear that it is against any forms of violence, and so far so good.

For instance, such areas as Mashonaland provinces that before were no-go-areas for any other opposition political party, are now accessible to all and sundry.

But are all these vital political transformations and reformations going to cascade down to Zimbabwe’s socioeconomics?

Mugabe’s Zanu PF had shut down all democratic avenues, virtually making the country a pariah State. Foreign direct investments had dwindled.

But now that democratic reforms are underway in the country, developed nations are willing to bailout Zimbabwe financially.

The financial bailout by the US and her allies is, however, tied to the country’s democratisation processes.

Now the million dollar question is: What is going to happen if the elections are perceived as rigged?

Clearly, if the international community maintains s hard stance on Zimbabwe, insisting on fairness of the ballot as they have always done, would that not spell doom on the country?

It seems as if that would be the last stroke that would break the camel’s back.

Surely, Zimbabweans would not stand by and watch as all their expectations get sunk by a stolen ballot.

All the hopes of a resuscitated industry and agro economy, all sinking into oblivion?

It is possible that the streets of Zimbabwe may be turned into blood streams as people risk life and limb to rid themselves of dehumanisation.

The star

He is a Zimbabwean involved in Social, Political & Economic Research.

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