Questions parties must answer

Source: Questions parties must answer | The Sunday Mail April 22, 2018

Dr Admire Nare
An election manifesto is a public declaration of aims, policies and programmes announced by a political party or candidate during an election season.

The declaration must underscore the party or candidate’s ideological framework, programmes of action and policies.

Unlike personality focused politics, a manifesto is meant to guide the electorate on which party and candidate has the right policies to transform society.

These policies can include foreign and domestic policies, migration, economic policies, social welfare, health and education, infrastructure development, re-engagement with the international community and so forth.

However, in the last 20 years, our elections have tended to gravitate towards personalities.

This means that the other Ps of election like programmes, promises, people and policies have received less attention.

Modern political campaigns must be foregrounded in manifestos because ultimately the electorate are interested in policies and programmes that change their lives.

It is unfortunate that parties and candidates shy away from articulating their programmes choosing instead to engage in character assassination and name calling their opponents.

The 2018 elections provide an ideal space for parties and candidates to articulate their policies and programmes.

Given what Zimbabwe has gone through, issues like the national youth question, job creation, infrastructure development, revamping the social welfare system, health and education, police and public sector reforms, diaspora engagement policies and rural areas revitalisation programmes and research and innovation policies will be integral to any serious manifesto that will be launched in the coming months.

Policies on corruption, foreign direct investment and local economic transformation will be crucial for significant structural economic transformation.

Curbing illicit financial flows and monetary policies which ensure liquidity and cash availability in the financial services sector is also crucial.

Dr Admire Nare holds a PhD in Media and Communication Studies. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the National University of Science and Technology in Namibia