HARARE – When Marondera woke up to thousands of A5 flyers littering urban and residential areas on Thursday morning, the immediate reaction was head shaking and sighs of contempt.
Someone had gone around during the night, obviously choosing the cover of darkness because they were ashamed of their actions, and dumped thousands of flyers on roadsides and outside people’s homes and businesses.
“Until when?” is the question posed at the top of the black and white A5 flyer which shows a black man wading through water carrying a white man on his back.
Written in Shona, the message at the bottom of the flyer reads: “The black person is my younger brother, I am the older brother. He is the donkey and I am the rider.”
Sadly the author and sponsor of this flyer did not have the courage of their convictions to include their name or that of their political party in what is an obvious attempt to incite race hatred in Marondera which has a white Zimbabwean standing as the MDC candidate.
Why is it that 30 years after independence, prospective candidates for government office still think they need to incite race hatred in order to win votes?
Hatred of another race is not going to help change the conditions people are living in.
It is not going to create jobs, re-open closed factories, put food on our tables, money in our pockets or bring prosperity to our country.
It’s just dragging us and our children back into a past that we can’t change and preventing us from moving into a future that we all desperately want, need and deserve.
While insults and racist comments may raise a few laughs at the rallies, the candidates using these tactics still do not seem to have grasped the fact that people are not laughing in amusement, they are laughing with embarrassment.
Voters do not care about narrow-minded, racial prejudices 30 years after independence. We hear these bigoted slurs repeated so often in election campaigns but everyone knows that the insults and finger pointing are just a smokescreen to detract attention from the real issues.
Voters care about candidates who have national vision and a deep desire to move Zimbabwe into the future and not endlessly dwell on the past.
Voters care about improving the circumstances of themselves and their families; developing and enhancing their communities and living in happy, safe, clean and prosperous towns.
These are the things people are going to vote for at the end of July.
When you stand alone in a booth at the polling station will you put your cross next to the face of the person who was rude, insulting, embarrassing and racist?
Or will you rather give your vote to the person who respects you and who has the ability to change your circumstances, bring improvements and development?
Those trying to stir up racial hatred in Marondera need to urgently familiarise themselves with Zimbabwe’s new constitution.
Section 10 reads: “The State and every person, including juristic persons and every institution and agency of government at every level, must promote national unity, peace and stability.”
On his visit to South Africa recently, US President Barack Obama said the people presently in power in Zimbabwe, “must recognise that the interests of all people have to be served.”
These are wise words for aspiring candidates too because Zimbabweans are tired of a country reserved for a few chefs and fat cats.
The interests of everyone must be served and the time for that is now, starting on July 31, 2013.