Elections: The taste of the eating is in the pudding!

21 Jul, 2018 - 00:07 0 Views
Elections: The taste of the eating is in the pudding! Justice Chigumba

The Herald

RADAR
Quite fortuitously, over lunch, a colleague offered an interpretation of an instalment of one of our hugely popular columns in our paper.

A few weeks ago, the columnist drew an analogy of a village woman of incapable faculties who fell victim to the sexual predation of a man of means in the village and continuously fell pregnant with the fruits of his loins.

To those shorn of context, this was just another hilarious story — pregnant (forgive the pun) with meaning — just as all such village tales are.

But the interlocutor revealed that this analogy greatly upset one political being whose life drew parallels with the story that was told in that tale.

In other words, the said political figure may have or may not have come to this world in circumstances not dissimilar to the unfortunate woman of incapable faculties and the horny unscrupulous rich man.

Perhaps it was a pure coincidence.

Perhaps the story had been told with malicious and cruel intent.

Matters to do with sex and reference to someone’s mother always elicit strong feelings.

This is why sex-shaming is a dangerous game, and one that people of ethics and morality do not have to employ.

The Christian among us will recall the story of Jesus challenging anyone who had not sinned to cast the first stone on a woman who had been found committing an act of adultery.

Stoning Chigumba

Zimbabwe is nearing its historic elections scheduled for July 30. We are only a matter of days away.

Political players have been busy preparing for the day, which comes, but once in five years.

July 2018 is coming in much altered circumstances following the end of the era of Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, key figures in this fixture for the past two decades.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been replaced — in that order —by Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa.

It would seem, too, that the fortunes will be similarly tied, in that descending order.

In the midst of this duel — this new and historic frontier — the person and office of Justice Priscilla Chigumba has become a frontier on its own.

Or at least according to one side of the contest that has found it worthwhile to fight the referee rather than the contest.

In all this, Chigumba has become a victim of a Fate that placed her in such an invidious position — the kind of wound that ancestors give you so that flies and gnats can gnaw at you — her sex, sexuality and choices in life.

She has done incredibly well as the woman at the helm of the elections body in a cruel place and time called Zimbabwe.

She has stuck to, and with the law.

She has stood her ground like a fearless lioness protective of her territory.

She has been impregnable. Yes, in the figurative sense.

Her inviolability has caused so much fury to those that may have wanted her to bend over backwards for them.

They wanted to breach the rules.

She had been expected to be easy prey, because she is a woman. But not so fast!

This has led her detractors to gather and cause a lot of powwow that has now come to Jesus, fully armed with stones to attack her.

But Jesus will ask, who among you has not sinned?

It is such an uneasy, fatal challenge and indictment, especially for people who have been known to conduct not so upright or natural ways of human interaction and behaviour, including and more particularly among MDC-Alliance’s newfound friends formerly of Zanu-PF’s G40 cabal.

On the main, we believe that — as we have already seen — the electorate will be the bigger Jesus.

They are not interested.

Taste of the pudding . . .

The reader may have been struck by our headline which does not exactly conform to the common knowledge about eating and tasting puddings.

This distorted, nay, mis-said statement was uttered by Nelson Chamisa as he sought to demonstrate a point or two regarding the forthcoming election.

We cannot remember which.

However, it is wisdom that we could make use of ourselves.

A lot has been said and done regarding these elections.

There have been battles of ideas — as in manifestos — and personalities, as in comparisons as to who would make a better President of the Republic by way of looks, temperament and personality.

Another dimension has been the comparison about who draws the bigger numbers during rallies.

The bigger the crowds, the better optics and bigger chances — so goes the rationale.

So, pictures become the message and the challenge and claim to the title.

Yet a more nuanced look at the same — the optics and visualisations of pictures — will reveal a deeper story.

The MDC-Alliance — a whole union of seven or so parties — likes to parade pictures of Nelson Chamisa drawing sizeable crowds.

He is the star. On the other hand we see little or nothing of individual parties and candidates making the alliance.

There is no deputy president to pull numbers on his own that would be good for the pictures.

The other day Tendai Biti, a whole principal, addressed a handful of supporters.

Individual MP candidates have been missing from the pictures. All they have to do is bask in the kaleidoscope laid out by Chamisa.

By contrast Zanu-PF, apart from having much bigger star rallies featuring the presidential candidate, has been able to draw crowds by lesser figures.

Vice President Chiwenga has good pulling power.

Individual candidates do not fare badly, either.

The Youth and Women’s Leagues can arrange good meetings with huge turnouts.

The same cannot be said of MDC-Alliance.

All in all, it speaks to Zanu-PF’s mobilising power as an organic party.

Its mass mobilising power will make the difference on July 30.

That is how the pudding will be tasted.

And, oh, we had almost forgotten about opinion polls and surveys.

They are deemed to be crucial pointers as to who the likely winner of elections will be.

At the time of writing, Afrobarometer has released possibly its last survey before the polls on July 30.

The biggest cheer about the results of the survey appear to suggest a surge in popularity for Nelson Chamisa, albeit, on a losing score against Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A key highlight is that 20 percent have not divulged their preferences.

Some may like to appropriate that and do the maths — the comforting imaginations, even if they are not the truth.

But then July 30 is only days away.

The taste of the pudding is in the eating!

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