By Caston Matewu
Remember the events leading up to the 2008 harmonized elections? I’m sure a lot of people do. These were the darkest of times, the grass was cut and snakes did show. The true face of Zanu PF was revealed.
A blood thirsty party that will go to any extremes to remain in power even if it meant an unprecedented number of people losing their lives.
To them it’s never about your way of life, it’s never about the values and rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution or prosperity of the citizens of Zimbabwe but it’s all about them.
I have a lot of respect for ordinary soldiers and police officers who serve their country out of patriotism and respect but it is gross misconduct when these institutions are used as a weapon to silence and intimidate the masses.
A political crisis began in Zimbabwe on 11 March 2007 when then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten and tortured after being arrested, prompting widespread domestic and international criticism.
This was a way to stop him from addressing his party faithful and those who had hunger for political change in Zimbabwe. Many will remember the swollen faces of the MDC-T leaders as they emerged from the court.
Hundreds of MDC activists disappeared in the weeks and months to follow; one wonders how does anyone vote for such a party that undermines everything about the human spirit?
To make it worse these fat cats had brought the country to its knees: food output capacity fell 45%, manufacturing output 29% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 28% in 2007, and unemployment rose to 80%.
During the height of inflation from 2008–09, it was difficult to accurately account and monitor for Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation because the government of the day stopped filing official inflation statistics.
The last time they released statistics, inflation was a world record breaking 230 million percent. It sounds like a disaster movie but this was reality.
The Economy was in free-fall and there was no food on the shelves, children were not going to school, civil servants were not being paid. After all this Zanu PF went ahead to steal the elections.
However, they could not ignore the abyss that the country was falling in.
For all the mistakes the MDC might have been accused of making, no one can deny that the stability Zimbabwe currently enjoys is due to their leadership. Finance Minister Tendai Biti was in his first term given the accolade of best Finance Minister in Africa.
My question is what if? Where would Zimbabwe be today?
But as Zimbabweans we always find a way and in the MDC I see a party that will bring us to prosperity. Zanu PF can now only rely on one thing, propaganda through State media!
State owned Media
The state owned press is digging deep trying to find stories to discredit the opposition. The Herald has become a circus, trying to find a story about the Prime Minister – day in day out, often with misleading headlines.
More often than not, state-owned media institutions give more coverage to the activities of political parties in government than to actual business that the government is conducting. This is done by lavishing praise at Zanu PF to the detriment of the MDC parties, who are often slaughtered.
In democratic societies, elections are mostly the conventional means of promoting some citizens to positions of leadership in the republic.
Presidential campaigns and elections are more vigorous as they determine who is selected as the head of state and to whom the majority of people would entrust guardianship of their sovereignty. As a result, presidential campaigns attract interest of reporters and gain considerable focus of the news media.
Obviously, few citizens personally attend political-campaign rallies. Most people depend on other sources of information. So, voters receive many of the messages about the candidates not directly from the candidates but from the news media.
Correspondingly, newspapers are an important source where researchers can find reports of presidential campaigns leading to elections. Besides, newspapers serve as a key source of issue knowledge for voters in presidential campaigns, so Zanu PF will at all any cost maintain I firm grip on state media.
However Zimbabweans are educated enough not to be fooled by the unprofessional journalism of papers such as the Herald and Sunday Mail; these institutions will remain the mouth piece of State propaganda.
Let’s vote wisely and lest we forget
Caston Matewu is the Youth Chairman of the MDC-T in the UK and Ireland