Lesotho elections spark new hope
Malawi did it, Zambia did it, Lesotho has done it, Nigeria will do it, we are next; Zimbabwe will do it. Young people shall save Africa.
These were the words of main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa in reaction to the victory of a rookie party in Lesotho.
Despite only being formed in May, Revolution For Prosperity (RFP) won the biggest number of seats when the country went to the polls this week. However, it failed to get the required numbers to form the next government and now needs to court other parties to join them so they take charge of Lesotho.
Buoyed by the victory of other opposition parties in the region, Zimbabwe’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) reckons the same winds of change that swept through Lesotho, Zambia and Malawi will breeze into Zim.
I guess their hope is that the ‘Domino Theory’ which the Americans so feared during the Cold War will play out in Africa instead. From the 1950s right through to the early 80s, the USA were terrified that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, the surrounding countries would swiftly follow suit, all falling like a pack of dominos!
The ruling Zanu PF has been in power since 1980. Judging from past experiences, the majority of Zimbos really yearn for change yet it has repeatedly been a case of ‘so near yet so far’ for the opposition.
In 2007, the then main opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won the elections but Zanu-PF would have none of it. A coalition government was then formed, with the late former President Robert Mugabe retaining his position while his arch rival, the late Morgan Tsvangirai was appointed Prime Minister.
Elections that have followed thereafter have always been marred by allegations of rigging, with the opposition crying foul.
It is for this reason that opposition victory seems to be a farfetched dream in our country as the ruling party, just like before, seems hell-bent on clinging to power no matter the costs.
Some years back, seeing that the opposition was more popular than Zanu-PF, service chiefs vowed that Zimbabwe would never be ruled by any other party, even threatening to start a war if that was to happen.
You see, these people who fought in the liberation struggle believe they own the country and will always frustrate opposition victory as they feel their efforts during the war would have gone to waste.
But as Chamisa reckons, Zimbabwe might pull a surprise and vote for a change of government next year.
After all, once upon a time it was unthinkable that the mighty Mugabe would be toppled by a coup and forced to step down while still breathing.
So, while it may seem impossible now, anything is actually possible under the sun!
Chamisa’s words might come to pass next year and for the first time in 43 years Zimbabwe might be under the leadership of a new party.
And for some reason, I look forward to casting my vote. I did not vote in the last elections as I felt it was a waste of time but next year, I will make sure that I play my part!