Monday, 24 March 2008

Optimist: 'A Glimmer of Hope'

In addition to the on the ground reports from Ziso we will be posting a series of articles from Optimist. Optimist writes from Harare as someone who has been around Zimbabwean politics for long. This time round she sees some cause for hope and is strongly supporting Makoni, and welcomes Fay Chung's entry into the Makoni campaign.

"The entry of Simba Makoni into Zimbabwe's presidential race broke through the darkness of recent months to give us a small ray of hope. If someone within the ruling party can stand up and disagree and challenge the seemingly all-powerful ZANU-PF political machine, maybe each of us can stand up, speak out and do something to improve life for all.

I rejoiced when Fay Chung joined Simba's movement. Fay is known for her integrity, intelligence and concern for the poor. If someone of her caliber is also willing to take the risk of challenging those who have been in charge of this country since Independence, it gives all of us a bit of courage to do what we can to bring peaceful and positive change.

It won't be easy. Few believe that the coming elections will be free and fair. The state broadcasting company blatantly favours the ruling party, although it has been forced to broadcast advertisements by all parties. The government controlled print media publishes the most nasty attacks against all opposition candidates and parties, although it too publishes their ads. I can't say whether all parties have the freedom to campaign throughout the country, but at least it seems as if there is less violence this time.

The country is full of rumours about civil war, coups, rigged elections, a Kenya scenario! Perhaps these have been planted by those in power to prevent people from voting for change. We don't know what will happen next Saturday.

We can only hope that if all those who registered go out and vote, the will of the majority will prevail."