Comment

Decide the future you deserve

ZIMBABWEANS go to the polls next Thursday with an unenviable yet crucial task of deciding the fate of their beloved Motherland for the next five years.

In less than 12 hours the electorate has an enormous task to decide how

best to regain the deserved glory that accompanied its collective ability to unshackle itself from colonialism. They have to decide how they prefer to be governed through the next half decade.

It is a unique moment offering the Zimbabwean electorate an opportunity to chart a new path leading to a healthier destiny for generations to come. Voters have a task to restore the nation to the lofty pedestal that it merits among the international community of nations.

The electoral choices Zimbabweans will make on polling day have immeasurable consequences.

Will they remain stuck in the quicksand the Zanu PF government has dragged them into through numbing fear that has immobilisd their collective power to resist being taken hostage? They have to engage in intense self-introspection before entering the voting cubicle and ask themselves whether they are comfortable with the way they are being governed or whether they deserve better.

This is the bottom line. Voters have to look back a short five years and take stock whether their lives have progressed or regressed, whether they have transformed for the better or for worse. Or better still, whether they enjoy the freedoms they anticipated when hordes of them left to prosecute the war for national independence.
 
Rather poignant is the fact that the election, more than anything else, offers each and every Zimbabwean an exceptional opportunity to rediscover themselves and become the master of their destiny. It also offers a rare opportunity for the electorate to collectively retrieve and repossess the inviolable power to decide who should rule over them.

Over time the electorate has gradually lost that omnipotent clout to determine who should lead them, often settling for the second-best and meekly resigning themselves to whatever fate comes their way.
 
That should not be so for an electorate that boasts being the best educated in the sub-region. It should not be the case because it is the voter who wields unmatched power in his or her hand to elect or unseat a government. Every democracy functions on the consent of the governed.

By the break of dawn on Thursday next week the election should unbundle the inherent energies in the electorate and empower it to elect a leadership that strikes a chord with national aspirations.

Zimbabwe is currently at the Biblical crossroads and the Zimbabwean voter can be likened to an earthling standing at the fork, deciding which road to take between one that leads to Eternal bliss and the other to Eternal agony.
 
The voter participating in the Thursday election is confronted with a choice to push Zimbabwe over the precipice or redeem its image from being a pariah of the continent merely by casting a marked ballot paper.

It does not matter much who they vote for provided the trust they have invested in that choice keeps Zimbabwe out of harm’s way. That is how the polls should define their patriotism — the love of their country’s wellbeing ahead of any other consideration.

If the voter decides to vote for the opposition MDC so be it. If another voter prefers to vote for Zanu PF or an independent candidate for that matter, let no one question that choice if that political preference guarantees Zimbabwe’s social, political and economic prosperity. Guaranteed national prosperity should be the sole guiding light to the way we vote come March 31.

Next Thursday’s polling is like no other before it. Voters have to be intensely aware of the international context in which these elections are being held. For the past five years Zimbabweans have been traumatised by the unpleasant feeling of an illegitimate child in a community of nations. Our electoral choices have the potential to open up a vista of social, economic and political opportunities beyond human imagination.
 
If we mess up this election we are doomed as a nation. Our patriotism will be shredded. We have a chance to wake up the following day, beating our breasts in self-glorification for having displayed unimaginable political maturity and acumen.

So let us grab the opportunity with both hands and make a conscious effort to redeem ourselves and our country.
Let all of us take voting on Thursday as a matter of national duty, a collective national responsibility.