Friday, February 1, 2008

Has anyone seen anything resembling preparations for this big election?

By Oscar Nkala

I do wonder about a lot of things. Some strange, some queer, others absurd and many others that are annoying to say the least. But one ceaseless worry in my mind has been whether Zimbabwe will really extricate itself from this path of demise we have been led down in nearly thirty years.

This year Zimbabwe will hold one of the most sophisticated elections where voters, who are growing fewer by day as people skip the borders in search of the dollar and HIV/AIDS harvests a conservative number estimated at 4000 weekly, will have to elect their president, their member of parliament, their senator and the local ward councillor.

Many new political parties have been formed, with some acquiring such strange names as Voice of the People, which sounds more like a newspaper or one radio station I know of. While democracy allows even a hundred parties to contest for the votes of five people, I can frankly say the new parties here do not realize that they are in dilemma.

It appears the majority of people are not even aware that there are elections, they do no know many of the strangers who aspire to be MP, they know several other contestants as thieves who stole the last election, left empty promises and disappeared behind their high walls until the need for votes forced them out into the slums where the real king-makers live. But it seems the people are more concerned about scratching the next meal together than choosing the next bunch of rulers.

I have not seen any sign of a campaign, and most of those I meet here tell me they are too busy trying to cope with the crisis; so much that making political decisions is not in the least one of their priorities. I will tell you more about why there are still no election posters, with only 56 days to go before what we mistakenly believed would be the poll of the century..

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