Letter from Zim
We are literally eating, drinking and sleeping politics.
With the countdown to July 30 elections now on, it seems everything else is on hold as politics and propaganda take centre stage.
At almost every turn, there is a billboard, poster or flier of an aspiring president, Member of Parliament or councillor promising voters to turn Zimbabwe into a land of milk and honey.
As if that is not enough, the media, both mainstream and social media, are awash with propaganda and fake news meant to tarnish the image of their loathed candidates.
As expected, the state media is propping up President Emmerson Mnangagwa while doing all they can to malign Movement for Democratic Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
Meanwhile, the private media, though trying to be balanced, has nothing good to say about the ruling party and its leadership.
One story that seems a little unlikely and is hard to believe was reported in the national Sunday Mail under the headline: ‘Chamisa, Grace jump into bed.’ According to the story, Chamisa and his party have struck a deal with the former first lady, Grace Mugabe that will see the latter appointed vice president if the opposition wins.
Apparently, the National Patriotic Front, which is reportedly funded by the Mugabes, threw its weight behind Chamisa in exchange for the VP post.
While according to the story, officials of the NPF seemed to confirm this, Chamisa has on numerous occasions denied any links or talks with the Mugabe family.
We know anything is possible in politics since there are no permanent friends or enemies but this of all claims is clearly far-fetched.
The MDC-Alliance is made up of several parties – so why would of all other parties that are involved, Chamisa choose his VP from Mugabe’s party let alone Grace! The NPF is in fact not part of the alliance but just decided to support Chamisa.
Maybe the state media knows something that most of us don’t but until their allegations come to pass, I will take everything they write about the opposition as mere half-truths.
Another election related story, which is a big talking point at the moment, relates to the voter’s roll.
According to media reports, there are more than 250, 000 ghost voters on the roll, something which has long been a concern for the opposition.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which is technically an extension of the ruling Zanu PF, has always been evasive about availing the voter’s roll, raising fears that indeed there were ghost voters which were of benefit to Zanu PF.
As pressure mounted on the electoral body to release the voter’s roll, it relented this week and the fears were confirmed.
They have of course denied any anomalies though they are yet to explain why some people are registered to vote in more than one place!
ZEC is also yet to explain how some Zanu PF candidates for parliament and council seats got cellphone numbers of some voters in their respective constituency as they are busy texting and soliciting for votes.
Such information about voters is only available in the ZEC database so the commission really has some explaining to do!