IN any normal election by Zimbabwean standards, we would be tempted to compare presidential candidates on the issues they represent and solutions to many of our well documented longstanding problems. But this is not a normal election. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Nelson Chamisa — represents the new beginning for our suffering people and the ruling party leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa discloses nothing concrete about his disturbing complex past or his plans, while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.
But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Chamisa’s large sway of supporters up and down the country. We at The Zimbabwe Mail are aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Chamisa — a candidate who might appear to you as young, inexperienced or untested on the surface.
Running down the other well experienced guy won’t suffice to make that argument. It’s the content of the experience that should scare you. Mr Mnangagwa’s track record does not relate to love, joy, peace and happiness. It is christened in his nickname; Ngwena (The Crocodile). The best case for Mr Chamisa cannot be, and is not, that he isn’t Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been part of Robert Mugabe’s regime for 37 years.
The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mr Chamisa’s capacity to rise to them and bring the change that we have so yearned to see the back of Zanu PF and restore decency to our impoverished people.
The 2018 campaign has so far brought to the surface the longstanding despair and rage of the down-trodden poor and middle-class Zimbabweans who say that Zanu PF government has done little to ease the burdens of unemployment, cash-crisis, rising cost of living, dilapidated infrastructure, lack of clean water, poor health service delivery system, housing, corruption and many others things that have gone wrong over the years of Zanu PF’s failures.
While for years under the guidance and leadership of the late founding President of the MDC Morgan Tsvangirai, Mr Chamisa has got himself accustomed to knowing these forces and weighed responses to these problems and showed he is ready to offer new leadership. Our endorsement at The Zimbabwe Mail is rooted in respect for his intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of continuous participation for the elusive democratic space for everyone.
Mr Chamisa’s shows a determined young leader intent on creating opportunity for struggling Zimbabweans at a time of longstanding structural economic upheaval and on ensuring the restoration of decency of Zimbabwe people and making sure that the country remains a force for good in an often-brutal world.
Mr Chamisa’s occasional missteps during this campaign, combined with attacks on the trustworthiness of his pledges and vision, have distorted perceptions of his character. We believe he is one of the most tenacious politicians of this new generation, whose willingness to study and correct course is rare in an age of unyielding partisanship. Over the long years in Parliament Mr Chamisa has built a reputation for grit and collaboration in Committees. He has displayed a command of policy and an ability to listen to constituents.
That means that, to enact his agenda, Mr. Chamisa has the unifying force to even find common ground with a destabilised disintegrating Zanu PF, whose unifying goal has always been enriching a few while the rest of wallow in poverty. Despite his and many of his supporters’ political scars, Mr Chamisa as a devoted Christian is bound to show an unusual capacity to reach across the aisle and bring this polarised nation together as we all march singing – Hallelujah.
Mr. Chamisa has shown himself to be a realist who believes Zimbabwe cannot simply withdraw behind oceans and walls, but must engage confidently in the world, be a participant and be true to its values. This will include attracting all forms of capital and technology to re-build our economy using our natural resources and help our people escape poverty.
We therefore urge you to vote wisely on 30th July 2018 and for us here at The Zimbabwe Mail, Mr Chamisa is just much-more than a baby-face. He is a leader we think can take Zimbabwe out of its long years economic deprivation.
Vote for Chamisa! Vote for Change!
The time for De-Zanufication of Zimbabwe has never been any better.
The Zimbabwe Mail Editorial Staff and Management