Why rural vote is heart, soul of Zimbabwean democracy

Why rural vote is heart, soul of Zimbabwean democracy
Published: 06 September 2018 (248 Views)
Rural folk did not limit their usefulness to war times because even when we got political independence, the country still needed to protect itself from cultural and economic colonisers.

In this new task, the rural folks did not disappoint. Now that all the hullabaloo of who won, who lost; who had V11 forms, who didn't and whose lawyers have a richer bag of English tongue twisters is over, we can now critically reflect on what the election really meant and what it revealed.

The lines were clearly drawn in the voting patterns throughout the country: the rural areas voted predominantly for zanu-pf led by President Mnangagwa and the urban folks opted to vote for the MDC-Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa. Let me try and unpack what this tells us about these two political formations in relation to the past and future of democracy (rule for the people by the people) in Zimbabwe. In this endeavour, a brief look at the country's history is vital.

Urban settlements were introduced by the minority white imperialists for their pleasure and the majority blacks were only allowed in these areas as service providers (primarily gardeners and house maids).

Those few blacks who found themselves unfortunate enough to work for the white man in towns were made to carry passes to account for their movements and to restrict the number of the "black" element in the white man's fancy city life.

As time came for Mbuya Nehanda's prophecy to be fulfilled and for the local man to rise up and fight for what was rightly his, it is no wonder much of the local freedom fighters'  bases were in the rural areas. This is where their support was and they could operate with some level of free movement.

As Chairman Mao once said, "fighters are like fish and the people are the sea that takes care of the fish and enables it to stay alive".

So, basically it was the rural masses that fought the war and made sure that Zimbabwe liberated itself from the tyranny of the colonialists. Not to trivialise contributions made by urban folk who provided financial support for the guerrilla fighters, but if one is honest to themselves, in the towns is where most sell-outs were found.

Freedom fighters could not rely on town folk as they could on the dependable rural masses. Rural folk did not limit their usefulness to war times because even when we got political independence, the country still needed to protect itself from cultural and economic colonisers. In this new task, the rural folks did not disappoint. That is why the rural areas are referred to colloquially as "roots".

If one says they are going "kuRoots" it means they are going to their rural area. So, surely how can one blame their roots for voting zanu-pf, the roots always know what is good for you. People from the "roots" are the fierce custodians of our cultural and traditional fibre.

For example, it is no secret that rural folks are well-mannered and respectful and that town people are self-serving and disconnected from what is truly important in life, which is family. When it comes to the economic front, it was the village folk under Chief Svosve, who instigated the land reform programme, forcing even Government to come on board to give land back to the people.

Furthermore, our mines, farms and any other economic activities that requires hard honest manual labour are based in the rural areas. Therefore, for one to denounce zanu-pf on the grounds that they got the majority of the rural vote and have depended on it for the past 38 years is not only misinformed, but just being plainly stupid.

Zanu-pf knows where the true power of the people is derived from, it is derived from the majority in the rural areas. Those who have managed to defend the country from colonial times and continue to do so to this day.

Zimbabwean democracy was born in the rural area and will be defended by the rural folk.

- the herald

Tags: Rural, Vote, Zimbabwe,
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