Whenever I watch the notoriously biased state broadcaster, ZTV, I can not help smiling – not though, because of the pathetic brazen propaganda that is packaged as news, although the hilarity is never lost on me
However, my bemusement is due to an image that is always created in my mind – as I listen to the relentless pro-ZANU PF drivel.
I always picture a group of Olympic athletes, preparing for a make or break 400 meter sprint final.
Yet, in the midst of all the hectic preparations – with athletes busily doing last minute warm-ups, psyching themselves up, and ensuring their sports gear is functionally sound – one of the runners (touted as a “gold medal contender”) is engaged in threatening officials into skewing the field in his favour by several unscrupulous shenanigans.
By the time all the finalists are at the starting line – the “gold contender” has, as a result of massive manipulation of the rules, being placed to start the race 200 meter ahead of everyone else, his main rival has been shackled up in leg irons, as well as his lane, somehow, filled with nails and pins.
However, to the shock of everyone, at the end of the race, the “handicapped” athlete actually comes in a very close second – only being “beaten” by the “gold contender” by a fraction of a second, and actually a decision being made by means of a photo-finish.
Surely, can the “winner” sincerely and justifiably celebrate his “victory” – and, consider himself a real “gold medalist”?
Should he not, instead, be thoroughly ashamed of having nearly been beaten by someone so handicapped, and had every obstacle placed in his path?
Moreover, should the fact that the “winner” had to resort to such disgraceful and despicable underhand tactics, not be enough to prove that he is not only a disgusting coward, but also possibly the worst competitor on the track…had he been brave enough to run a fair race?
That is exactly the image I have of ZANU PF!
Honestly, how do these people even sleep at night knowing fully well that – whether or not they actually “won” the previous elections in the country (presidential, parliamentary, and local government) – they, like the “gold contender” in my example, could only achieve this “victory” through severely and savagely handicapping the main opposition MDC party?
Not only that, but this “victory” – especially, in the 2018 presidential elections – was so close that ZANU PF’s Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa had to be declared the “winner” over MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa, by the Constitutional Court, sitting as an Electoral Court?
I will not even bother delving into the humiliating defeat the ZANU PF presidential candidate, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, suffered at the hands of MDC-T’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai in 2008.
In all these instances, the ruling party had resorted to unleashing an unimaginable savage reign of terror against opposition supporters and leaders, weaponization of the law against voices of dissent, prevention of any pro-MDC state media coverage (but, preferring biased propaganda and lies), state resources being used for ZANU PF campaigning, suspected opposition supporters being denied any state assistance, abusing state institutions to cripple rivals, as well as lack of transparency and proper accountability by the electoral commission.
Yet, the ruling ZANU PF was nearly, or was actually, beaten by the “handicapped” opposition MDC!
Hazvinyadzisi here izvi?
What conclusions would an analyst, worth his salt, make of this?
Would it not be undoubtedly clear that, had the playing field been free, fair, and credible – the opposition would have, without any question, resoundingly won?
What, then, does it say about the ruling ZANU PF party?
Can we not conclude that this is the most cowardly and unpopular political party in the southern African region – whose only solution to “winning” elections is to severely and savagely “handicap” the opposition?
No wonder I find myself smiling whenever I watch ZTV!
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org