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Politicians are dishonest; Don't be deceived by them

09 Mar 2018 at 07:35hrs | Views
Do we really want as Zimbabweans to allow political campaigns to be exempt from the common moral norms of honesty and truthfulness? Given that whom we elect as President, MP, Mayor or Councilor to lead us is consequential to our lives and future, how could it be irrelevant, morally, if each candidate tries to arrest our minds and win our votes by means of false hope, half-truths and deceptive "spin"? Basic morality, demands respect for a person's right not to be defrauded - a right violated when one's vote is obtained through deception. Dishonest politicians abandon their "lofty" and "bogus" campaign promises, after using them to lure the electorate, and this should be seen as a form of corruption. According to Nikita Khrushchev, "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even when there is no river".
The 2018 electioneering campaign has just begun and the stage is set for the rampaging sight of the dirty side of politics and the irony of political dishonesty. This political sermonization is generally characterized as exciting, thrilling, colorful, and festive but is incongruent to truth. Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying. The first casualty during this period is honesty and truth. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is apparently a commodity not valued by most of the candidates running for office. Exaggeration, deception, vagueness, and misrepresentation of the facts, as well as distorting other candidate's records of achievement and positions on the issues, will be the order of the day.
Politics in Zimbabwe cannot unfortunately be played without what is tagged "stomach Infrastructure". Voters are either lured with cash or cajoled with food stuffs, and in worse cases used underwear. According to Farida Nabourema, "In normal countries, political candidates raise money for their campaign. In paranormal countries, candidates distribute money during their campaigns."
Electioneering campaign should be a proper and appropriate tool for the candidates to present their respective credentials, plans, and manifesto to the electorate, and this should be done with ethics, decency, modesty, respect, and humility but on the contrary the reverse is usually the case. On the other hand it is a platform for the voter to decide. It is also an opportune time for the voters to scrutinize very well all the candidates and be able to come up with the right choices for the different elective posts. But, unfortunately, many, if not all, candidates resort to dirty tactics just to advance their selfish personal interests.
The disheartening aspect at the start of the campaign period, or even before it could actually start, opposing political parties hurl degrading and derogatory remarks at each other, and even going to the extent of hitting below the belt, figuratively speaking. This is usually done with the ulterior motive of discrediting and maligning the opponents, putting them in bad light, in order to solicit sympathy and eventually get the nod of the majority of the voting public, a perceived favorable option to ensure the victory of their respective candidates. Sometimes, it is really very hard to understand why character assassination has become the name of the game during the election period, and worse, it has already become a common practice or tradition among almost all politicians to the detriment of society, in general. The impact is that almost everybody, the candidates, the supporters, the sympathizers, and even the on-lookers seem to be judging each other, leading to an atmosphere of prejudice, hatred, distrust, dishonesty, pretentiousness, deceit, and treachery. The devastating effects of these incidents include the deterioration of treasured values, as well as the destruction of the sacred relationships within the communities and families.
Zimbabweans have been hurt by the dishonesty of politicians. Politicians of all types have broken election promises and, along with government officials, misled the public in between elections. Unfortunately, there is no law and high penalties to discourage dishonesty. The only penalty for breaking promises is the penalty of losing the next election. However, promise-breaking politicians often don't lose the next election, they apply trickery once again to weave themselves back into office.
Some say that when candidates make promises, they don't know what changes might occur if they win and, therefore, shouldn't be penalized if they break promises. The simple solution is for candidates to make promises that honestly set out the circumstances under which they would change direction. In any case, politicians could be allowed to cite truly unforeseeable changes as a justifiable reason for breaking a promise.
So, in this coming election campaign cycle tell your candidates for President, MPs, Mayors, Councillors that you will not tolerate false claims and broken promises once they get into office. As an electorate find out yourself from their speeches which candidates are honest and real leaders as opposed to misleaders. This scrutiny will eventually lead to a critical mass of politicians finally respecting voters wishes and rights. Nemesis should catch up with dishonest politicians who have no regard for the electorate that gave them mandates. To the electorate, I say it is time to pay back those who deceived you or failed to fulfill campaign promises.

Source - Vusi Nyamazana
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