Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Voting blindly is not an option

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This tired election – so dishonestly called the 2008 ‘harmonised’ elections – is suddenly the source of great interest and speculation. Just 4 weeks ago it was a dead in the water, one horse race. Mugabe versus the masses. Results already printed, factotums paid in advance for services to be rendered.

Apathy looked likely to be the real winner and then along came Simba. And suddenly everyone in the cities wanted to be registered to vote.

What makes Simba Makoni such an obvious choice for the urban voter? The easy answer is this: he’s neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai. Fine, it’s clear then who he isn’t – but isn’t it time we voted FOR something rather than against something? I don’t want to vote NO. I want to vote YES. And Simba has a lot of explaining to do before election day on March 29. Voting blindly is not an option. I’d rather spoil my ballot.

Now here’s the thing. How do we do anything positive around this election? The candidates we have to choose from are either dangerous to our health (Mugabe), stale (Tsvangirai), not transparent (Simba), self-serving (most of the rest), fabulous (too few to count) or unknown (way too many).

From my experience, the only time a politician will give you the time of day is in the weeks before the election. So fellow Zimbabweans – this is our moment. Insist that you will NOT vote for a candidate unless they:

  • speak at a venue near you
  • answer your questions
  • have a positive vision for the future
  • can practically implement a majority of the promises they make
  • believe in women’s advancement

This is OUR time. Make them work for our votes.

2 comments to “Voting blindly is not an option”

  1. Comment by Keith Goddard:

    Brenda’s comments about Makoni largely resonate with mine, particularly in terms of needing to vote for someone who stands for something rather than against. But although I believe there are always choices, those presented to us at this time in Zimbabwe are few and generally flawed. I may be wrong but I don’t necessarily see Makoni as a longterm solution, just as a step in the right direction. For some time I have been hoping he would step forward (we need a damn good bookkeeper at the helm) although his timing when he did so surprised me and made me ask ‘why suddently now?’ It also caught me unawares. Previously I had decided I was not going to bother to vote, not even to spoil my ballot paper. I felt that the political process had failed me. But I was away when Makoni declared himself so I haven’t checked if I’m on the voters’ roll.

    Like everyone else, I am worn out and anxious. I sometimes wonder how I keep going. I hope I am not clutching at an empty last straw.

  2. Comment by Kubatana.net speaks out from Zimbabwe » Blog Archive » How Big Men Behave:

    [...] On Saturday night I went to a wonderful dinner party sharing conversation with a cross-section of Zimbabweans. We did a whip around on the subject of the election and people were either voting Simba, or spoiling their ballots. Speaking of Simba I noticed his full page election advertisement in The Zimbabwe Independent on Friday. Besides the fact that it didn’t say a hell of a lot, it appears that Simba doesn’t feel that its necessary to provide any contact details so that we, the Zimbabwean electorate, can actually get hold of his campaign office to find out more about his policies, when he might organise a public meeting – you know, all that trivial stuff. When I mentioned my complete disgust at this arrogant electioneering one of the dinner party guests snorted and said that I was thinking too much like an “intellectual” and that this is Africa and this is how Big Men behave. As Brenda mentioned in one of her recent posts, if you haven’t read the policies of, or listened to these presidential hopefuls, or been invited to a public meeting, then Just Say No to the big men of Zimbabwean politics and spoil your ballot rejecting their arrogant behaviour. [...]