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Unlike Trump, Chamisa's lies won't work

by Knowledge Moyo
15 Jul 2018 at 10:22hrs | Views
In an American election campaign riddled with exaggerated claims, half-truths and outright lies, Donald Trump famously promised to Make America Great Again. 18 months in, how much he has succeeded is anyone's guess.

Closer to home, this weekend Nelson Chamisa took a leaf out of Trump's book with a typically outlandish speech at his latest campaign rally, in which he promised to change the country's name to Great Zimbabwe if elected.

24 hours on, and I am still baffled by both the bizarreness of this promise, and the contempt with which it seems Chamisa holds the voters.

Despite the progress in recent months, our economy is still struggling and people have real concerns. So what world is Chamisa living in to believe that changing the country's name is the answer to our problems? Is Great Britain struggling any less with the impact of Brexit because their country name includes the word Great? This is positively mind-boggling.

Either Chamisa believes that adding Great to Zimbabwe is a magic recipe for economic prosperity – in which case he is dangerously lacking the necessary intellect to be our president – or he thinks the voters are stupid enough to fall for this nonsense, in which case he doesn't deserve anyone's vote. Or maybe it's just that his expensive American advisers told him that it worked for Trump, and that was enough for him. In which case I am speechless. But whichever way you look at it, it doesn't reflect well on him.

But there is more. In the same speech, Chamisa also promised to move the seat of government and parliament to Gweru, a transparent play for the votes of the people of the Midlands. However, not wanting to risk offending the voters in Harare, he said that the Sunshine City will remain Zimbabwe's capital. The problem is that the essential function of a capital city is that it is the seat of government, so we must question what Chamisa has in mind for Harare as the ‘capital' of Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately it doesn't end there. Aware of the need for votes from Manicaland, he also committed that Mutare will be the centre for tourism. I'm still not quite sure how Chamisa plans to enforce this – will tourists be compelled to spend the majority of their time in Mutare? What if they want to visit Vic Falls?

Of course, none of this really matters. Chamisa probably won't win, and even if he does, he definitely won't move the government or force tourists to be based in Mutare.

The real issue then is why he feels that he can lie to the Zimbabwean voters with impunity.

Does he think we are stupid, gullible or both? Does he really think we believe he will build the fastest train in the world here, double the speed of the quickest train in history?

Does he really think we believe that Paul Kagame based his entire ICT policy on a brief conversation with him?

Does he really think we will believe he will solve our most complex problems in days if elected?

Of course, his expensive American advisers will be telling him that what worked for Trump will work for him, but there is a big difference here. Somebody should tell them that this is not America. The Zimbabwean voters are wise to the lies and disappointments of the past, from both main parties, and will not again be fooled by such childish stunts.

Rather than Trump, the American President his well-paid advisors should remind him of is Abraham Lincoln. For it was Lincoln who issued the immortal words, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

On July 30th, Chamisa will realise just how true these words are, but by then, it will be too late.

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Source - Knowledge Moyo

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