Mazanda a Chisenga is one of the most well-known Ndau poems. It is a story about young Chisenga who was gifted eggs by his parents and decided to go and sell them at the nearest market. On his way, he started imagining what he would do with the money he would derive from the sales. He would buy chickens, a sure way to get more eggs to sell, he reckoned. With the profit from the sale of his chickens and the many eggs they would lay, he would buy goats. Since he had a good hand in farming, he reckoned, his goats too would multiply, resulting in even more sales and profits.
From the sale of his goats, he would buy cattle, and voila! his rags to riches story would be complete! He became so engrossed in his thoughts that he started dancing unawares at his imagined newfound riches, tripped himself and fell, losing all his eggs! Like all young boys of his age, he looked around to see if anyone had seen him, picked himself up and went back home, dejected. Last he checked, he saw a dog licking at what remained of his riches – the broken eggs. In a dramatic fashion, he said his goodbyes to his eggs, goats and cattle! Even those who can not recite the poem, are aware of its basic conclusion: “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!”
The Zimbabwean opposition parties are buoyant particular after performing well in the March 2022 by elections (CCC in this case) and the self inflict economic wounds that the Zanu PF government is currently battling with. There is no doubt that in any case in any country around the world the incumbent government has one formidable opponent in the state of affairs in that particular country. If things are going well the message of the opposition does not resonate with the people but if things are bad people wanna change.
It was not until 1997, when the Labour Party under Tony Blair triumphed at the polls, 18 years after Thatcher had trounced James Callaghan following the major strikes dubbed the “winter of discontent” that engulfed the latter part of his premiership, that Labour broke the Tory’s stranglehold on British politics. Even then, it did not just happen because the Brits were tired of the Conservative Party and the sleaze surrounding its leaders and the sale of peerage to its funders. Labor under Tony Blair had to outline to voters, a set of policies that went beyond its traditional supporters and voters to encompass the majority of British society, which while eager for a change of government was weary of some of its outdated policies.
Single issues of tax the rich and spend, re-nationalization of mines and industries privatized under Thatcher, did not cut it with the majority of voters, some of whom were voting for the first time. They had no connection to the bygone era of the state owning all sectors of the economy. Labor had to create a new majority to win the non-core Tory voters over while at the same time retaining its traditional base.
The same is true of our country.
Both major parties CCC and Zanu PF are looking well beyond the older generation for voters. The political punchlines which were ones used in the early 2000’s are becoming memes among the younger generations. The ideas like the opposition is sponsored by the west no longer have meaning that it used to have , the idea that sanctions are the reason why the economy is in toilet are now a joke as the period 2009 -2013 was the best most Zimbabweans have ever lived, years after we fist get under sanctions.
But the incompetency of Mtuli alone is not enough for the opposition to think that it can win the 2023 elections. The fact that many people have realized that zanu leaders complain about sanctions and then go to enjoy holidays in America is not enough for the opposition to win the 2023 elections.
In the eyes of many, political parties are all the same: self-serving, corrupt, out to get their hands on the public purse for themselves, their friends, families and hangers-on, making promises they have no plan to fulfil and only visiting their areas of squalor during elections, never to be seen again until the next elections. The opposition as it was has vast control of resources and governing power in local government and has not done enough to deliver service in many areas or at least show to the voters that this is what we want to do , but Zanu PF is blocking our plans.
Its not enough for Chamisa or Mwonzora to shout Zanu PF bad.
There are many areas where people’s lives were built by and largely depend on Zanu PF projects based projects like government’s command agriculture. The opposition must inspire these people in rural areas that they will not lose if they don’t vote for Zanu PF in fact their lives will improve because of ABC programs.
The opposition must inspire the youth with concrete policies of what they will do when they get in power. There is nothing called crisis of confidence , there are many poor country that hold democratic elections now and then , so why investors are not flocking to countries like Liberia and Burundi which a democratic nations but the poorest in the world.
Investors are cowards they do not like too much risk