By Tawanda Chenana
ELECTIONS are upon us and we, in the village, eagerly await.
As the poll draws nearer the choice before us as the electorate could not be more clearer.
And we should take advantage of this clarity, it must assist us to vote wisely
The task to choose our next Government is an easy one.
We have many political parties in the country but the two top contenders have always been the ruling ZANU PF and the MDC, now CCC.
Our public discourse has been dominated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the paranoid Nelson Chamisa.
In the time he has served his people, President Mnangagwa has proved to be a solid, steady and reassuring presence.
He has preached the gospel of peace as well as unity and, most importantly, economic development.
The President has been meticulous and specific in his promises as evidenced by the many completed and commissioned projects.
Numerous programmes in agriculture, business and service delivery have been meticulously recalibrated to address the needs of various stakeholders.
Cattle ranchers in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North as well as Mashonaland provinces, farmers from small to large scale, small and medium enterprises to huge corporations have benefitted from the initiatives of the Second Republic.
The repaired roads are there for all to see and experience; resuscitation of mines and industries that had become dormant in various parts of the country has seen a hive of economic activities.
President Mnangagwa has not made general and vague promises, he has delivered on each and every one of them.
We have been shown a President and presidential candidate inclined towards action rather than rhetoric.
Clearly, the bias of President Mnangagwa and ZANU PF is more to economics, less politics, more development and less of polarising politics of the past.
The clear message from the Second Republic, from the servants of the people, is that we need to revisit our approach to politics and economics to make progress as a people.
It is this refreshing approach to politics and economics which has generated the kind of hope that we detect in most Zimbabweans today.
We are all now imbued with the feeling that, development-wise, we can catch up with the rest of the region and even surpass it in some respects.
This feeling that, at last, the country is moving in the right direction for the good of all gives us immeasurable joy.
The re-engagement drive with the rest of the international community has not just been for show but deliberately designed to support the economic growth of the country.
Indeed, Zimbabwe is open for business and the investors are coming.
On the other hand, we have a candidate who has dominated the national discourse for all the wrong reasons; Chamisa has not grown into the politician his supporters hoped for.
Young, inexperienced are tags he is failing to shake off.
The electorate remembers him as the ‘bullet train and spaghetti road man’.
The difference between ZANU PF and CCC, between President Mnangagwa and Chamisa, is that of day and night.
The CCC leader vainly tried to project his organisation as ‘a party of excellence, a champion of democracy and good governance as well as upholder of the rule of law’.
Accordingly, most of us expected Chamisa to stick to the supposed values and democratic tenets and processes which CCC claim to uphold.
But from day one, Chamisa’s rush to assume the leadership of the MDC-T and CCC as well as the use of executive organs of the party to rubber-stamp his indecent power-grab has cast him as one with ambition which knows no moral bounds, an individual with an incurable lust for power.
For us, those in the village, what has us worried is the questionable moral content of Chamisa’s leadership.
While most of us agree with Chamisa that Zimbabwe needs leaders who are visionaries, leaders who can dream big dreams which in turn can inspire us to shape our future as a nation, it is also true that such leaders should be pragmatic hands-on characters who know what is ‘doable’ and when.
And President Mnangagwa has shown us that dreams can be brought to reality without turning into nightmares.
We, in the village, have not forgotten Chamisa going up and down the whole country preaching the need for us to purchase bullet trains and to construct four-lane and eight-lane spaghetti roads across the length and breadth of our land.
He even promised to transform Victoria Falls into a casino-driven Sodom and Gomorrah of Zimbabwe, comparable to Las Vegas of the US.
In Binga, Chamisa promised to build a university focusing on fisheries and, by the time he got to Murehwa, he already had another vision.
He promised to build rural airports all over the country, airports to host numerous planes always ready to ferry tomatoes to Mbare Musika in a matter of minutes.
We asked then if these promises were part of an overall economic plan or simply part of an endless wish-list — all of them hopelessly impractical to implement both at the immediate and intermediate stages.
Indeed, the more he dished out these outlandish promises, the more we got worried about the mental well-being of the candidate himself.
This is the dilemma which we still find ourselves facing today, the same old Chamisa, just that he is no longer concentrating on his wish-list of spaghetti roads but consolidating his grip on power in his party.
It is a sad story.