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Kuda Bhejana: If Donald Trump was running for President of Zimbabwe in 2018

By Kuda Bhejana

2018 is just about the corner. This time next year, Zimbabwe will be gripped in election fever as her citizens vote for the man who will become the president of Zimbabwe, the man best equipped to deliver us from our suffering.

President Robert Mugabe and Donald Trump
President Robert Mugabe and Donald Trump

The pool of choices is going to remain very limited, maybe more limited than before if an opposition grand coalition is achieved.

It’s going to be Robert Mugabe versus Morgan Tsvangirai again, for the fourth time!

Americans just elected and inaugurated their new president. I thoroughly enjoyed the unorthodox, boisterous, radical presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Both in terms of the content of his manifesto and the delivery, it was an exhilarating, toe-curling experience for me! I had not seen a politician like Donald Trump, hitherto!

So to spice up my imagination, I began to think, if Donald Trump was running for president in Zimbabwe, what would he say? Are some of the things Trump said relatable to Zimbabwe? “Trumpism” for Zimbabwe, how would that sound?! Here is what I found out.

Manifesto

The manifesto wouldn’t be to “Make Zimbabwe Great Again” as I have heard some social media political pundits clamoring. Great “again”? Were we ever great? I don’t think we’ve experienced any repeatable greatness yet.

Make Zimbabwe Rhodesia Again, maybe – if we want to talk of any greatness. I am kidding. Let’s not evoke memories of Rhodesia here. She is long gone, whether she was great or not.

I think “Make Zimbabwe a Country Again” would have been a befitting manifesto. Whereas he managed to trademark the popular, “Make America Great Again” motto, Trump would have to be realistic about trademarking the “Make Zimbabwe a Country Again” one.

Do we still trademark things in Zimbabwe? Are trademarks, copyrights and patents enforceable anymore, with all the rampant piracy going on? I don’t think so.

The Donald would have to pray and fast that his manifesto is not stolen. Maybe approach a prophet, a papa to enlist divine trademarking services, lest he woke up and Mai Mujuru was claiming the same manifesto. Then he would call her, “such a nasty woman!”

Economy

Donald Trump claimed that he would be “the greatest jobs president God ever created!” A lot of Trump’s appeal was the fact that he is a businessman. Americans thought it was time they put someone with business expertise in the Oval Office, to revive the American economy into the super-economy that it is.

The general sentiment was that Obama had little financial understanding resulting in the slowest economic recovery since 1949 after the 2008 financial crisis.

If he was running for president of Zimbabwe, I don’t think Trump would mince words about the state of the Zimbabwean economy. The brash billionaire would claim that Zimbabwe does not even have an economy to talk about.

“We don’t have an economy, folks! We don’t have an economy left,” he would say. “Where are the industries? We import everything, including toilet paper! What are we doing?!”

Being the great problem solver that he is, Trump would claim that he was going to turn it all around.

“We will start building an industry and creating an economy from scratch! We have to start manufacturing in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean manufacturing, Zimbabwean products! When was the last time you bought something labelled “Made in Zimbabwe?” We will bring back industries. It’s gonna happen, folks. We are going to start manufacturing our own products.”

For Tsvangirai and Mugabe, gentlemen, as you square off again, you might want to do this; assure the people that you know their problems are real, and that you can actually solve them. Make promises based on the problems, lest you claim to build bridges where there are no rivers.

On Jobs

Well, Trump has been decrying the fact that the US official unemployment rate is understated. The official unemployment rate in the United States is 5.5%, but Trump has been claiming that it is around 20%.

What do you think he would say about Zimbabwe’s 95% unemployment rate? “It’s a mess, folks. A huge fat mess, I can tell you,” he would say. “We need to fix this because very soon we will not even have a country left to talk about!”

“We need to create jobs! We need to put our people to work! Zimbabwean jobs from Zimbabwean companies! Our industries have to start working again! Our young people need jobs. Let’s put them to work! No wonder why our people are pouring into South Africa on the southern border. They need work. They need to take care of their families!” 

Trade Deals

“We are being led by stupid and corrupt politicians! Mugabe was in China last year and he came back claiming that he had unlocked investment deals worth more than 10 billion. By the way, I am worth 7 billion dollars. I thought I should just put it out there, lest he thinks $10 billion is a lot of money.

But, Mugabe went to China and came back with a bounce in his step. Was this when he fell at the airport? I think so! The deals have not materialized to this day! I mean, where is the money?”

“The Chinese are not stupid, folks! They have been eating our lunch. You hear our politicians calling them all-weather friends. They are not communist anymore! China has grown to become the second largest economy in the world! Now they are here siphoning our natural resources as we watch. We are just giving our resources to them. Our gold and our diamonds.

Mugabe can’t even trace the missing $15Billion from the Chiadzwa diamond mines. Do you believe it? I don’t believe it! He knows where the money is!

We are going to re-negotiate our trade deals with China, with Russia and even with South Africa. I am all for free trade, but we need it to be fair. It has to be fair trade!

I can’t even begin to talk about trade deficits, because we don’t produce anything anymore!”

Winning 

Winning is such a big theme for The Donald. He said he wasn’t going to run for president if he thought that he wasn’t going to win.

But Trump also stressed that America as a country was not winning anymore. “We don’t win anymore,” he cried a couple of times. I am sure he would say the same in Zimbabwe.

“We don’t win anymore. Our athletes came back from the Olympics without a single medal. The Warriors just had an early dramatic exit at the Africa Cup of Nations! We did not even win one game. Cricket – we can’t even beat Afghanistan, a war ravaged country!

We don’t win on trade! We don’t win at sports. Our infrastructure is crumbling. We don’t have electricity. No water. 95% of our people are unemployed!

We need to start winning. I promise you, we are going to start winning that you are all going to be bored of winning!”

On Infrastructure

Trump is a builder, a real estate executive. He is currently working on a 1 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan to rebuild the “crumbling” US infrastructure. During his election campaign he decried the poor state of America’s infrastructure, comparing it to that of a “third world country.”

He publicly emulated the United Arab Emirates, saying it was sad coming back to America arriving at the JFK airport in New York after travelling to the UAE or to Qatar, countries that have built amazing, to be seen to be believed infrastructure.

I think he would vehemently press the point that we need to rebuild our infrastructure. We need to fix our roads and highways, our rail network, bridges, airports, sewer and water systems, and electricity plants.

Rigged Elections

At some point in the run-up to the presidential election when the polls were not in his favor, Trump claimed that the election was rigged. Because Obama was heavily campaigning for Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed Obama was going to rig the elections in Hillary’s favor.

He also cited the mainstream media, which was relentlessly bashing him whilst showering praises and encouragement on Hillary Clinton. 

I have no doubt that he would say the same in Zimbabwe as Mugabe wouldn’t even show up at campaign rallies because of old age, sending his wife instead.

Unlike Tsvangirai who just cruises into defeats, am sure The Donald would ring the alarm a couple of times! Especially when his opponent wouldn’t campaign at all. When contesting in such circumstances, one has to smell a rat.

“The Elections Are Rigged. Ask Mugabe! We’ve seen dead people voting, people have been bussed to polling stations before. In some cases, people have voted multiple times.

And Mugabe isn’t even campaigning! Where is he?”

Would Trump go to an election without getting a copy of the voters’ roll? I don’t think so.

Monikers for the Opponents!

Trump is notorious for giving his opponents monikers. During the Republican Party primary elections, he called gave his opponents names. The most prominent ones were “Lyin’ Ted” for Ted Cruz who he said was always twisting facts to suit his arguments.

“Little Marco” was for the youthful Marco Rubio. Trump caricatured Jeb Bush, George W. Bush’s brother, saying he was a “low-energy” person. These monikers stuck!

Then there was the famous Crooked Hillary, for his Democratic Party adversary, Hillary Clinton who Trump insisted was very corrupt and unfit to serve as president because she had mishandled classified information as Secretary of State, a crime for which she was under FBI investigations.

What names would Trump give to our politicians? Gucci Grace or Unhinged Grace? Queen Bee? Ancestor Mugabe or Archaic Mugabe? Potato-head Jonso? Four eyes, Biti? For Tsvangirai and Mai Mujuru? I’ll leave that to your own imagination!

Conclusion:

There are so many things that Trump would say if he was running for President of Zimbabwe, which makes me wonder why our own politicians don’t talk about them. It seems that all our politicians can say, is to just say that Mugabe has to go. That’s very uninspiring and boring!

You hear the likes of Biti sounding sophisticated at us, telling us about GDP, GDP per capita and other confusing subjects without hitting at the very obvious. Our politicians fail to convince us that the problems can be solved if we vote for them.

Trump teaches our politicians to be simple and to be passionate! Communicate simply, talk of the daily problems that people face, show that you share the same problems. Promise by word and posture that you can and you will solve these problems!

It’s time for our politicians to go back to the drawing board and learn how to appeal to the masses. For starters, Trump showed us how.

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