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It's the economy, stupid!

03 Apr 2022 at 07:20hrs | Views
Eons ago, in Bishop Lazi's village, there lived a pint-sized legend who was known far and wide.

Everyone always surmised — and with good reason too — he had inherited the worst biological qualities from both his parents.

To say the chap was ugly is to be mischievously naive.

The word could not in the least describe this fellow villager.

He was simply a scrawny monster on two legs.

He had a bulbous head that seemed to perch unsteadily and precariously on the matchstick he called his neck.

His very small eyes always looked to be squinting or peering over a mound of a nose that was tattooed by very unsightly pockmarks.

If only he was light-skinned, people could have scoured his face for some redemptive qualities, but it was not to be.

It actually got worse.

His ashen and chapped lips provided an opening to a gap-touched mouth from which issued the foulest stench ever known.

And, for such a short man, he had disproportionately long arms that carelessly dangled by his side.

His bow-curved legs completed the biological scandal.

His fashion sense could have made Job Sikhala green with envy. Kikikiki.

Even if it was hot or cold, he always unfailingly wore his oversized frayed jacket that he proudly said was sent by a relative from overseas.

When it was new, it must have been brown or grey, but it had now been dirt-coated into an indistinguishable hue.

But, what he lacked in beauty, outlook, finesse and sophistication, he made up for through sharp wit and devastating humour.

Wherever he went, he always left in his wake an epidemic of guffaws of laughter, teary eyes and pneumonic-like rib pains after unleashing one of his countless jokes.

Even the most stoic or uptight of human beings could not help but be bowled over by his pathological humour.

While some did not want him near enough to smell his bad breath, most wanted him within earshot to avoid missing his irresistible jokes.

Blissful denial

However, mindful of his enchanting and disarming humour, our comic villager decided to put his skills to use in pursuit of amorous and carefree sexcapades.

From the young, old, slim, plus-sized, beautiful, ugly, simple, sophisticated, married and unmarried women, he didn't discriminate and had his way with them.

Being the human monstrosity he was, no one would have ever suspected he was dating their daughter, wife, niece or female acquaintances.

He was really living the dream of many hot-blooded village perverts.

With time, it caught up with him, and he fell sick.

In no time, his hair became curly, his skin turned sveltely smooth and whenever he tried to talk, a nasty whooping and prolonged cough usually took over.

The Bishop knew, so did everyone in the village, the incurable malady that afflicted this unlikely sex pest, but he obstinately insisted his ailment was caused by relatives trying to kill him using muti.

At a time when they were therapies to help nurse him to health and prolong his life, he instead, in blissful denial, put his faith in village medicine men/women to lift his supposed curse, but the numerous concoctions he was given were hopelessly useless.

Predictably and expectedly, his health eventually deteriorated precipitously and he died.

We buried him — together with his jokes.

You see, life is not a joke, and living in denial can be fatal.

Our village friend did not die because of the disease, but he died because of denial.

Bishop Lazi also sees this fatal flaw in the opposition, which is trapped in a dark tunnel of unending feuds and floundering fortunes, and is foolishly mistaking an oncoming Zanu-PF train as a flickering light at the end of the tunnel.

We all know that they will be one unfortunate outcome.

Proverbs 1:5 counsels: "A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel."

Proverbs 11:3 adds: "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."

A fortnight ago, the Bishop sounded a warning to the opposition "that come 2023, there will be fierce contests for urban constituencies, particularly in Bulawayo. You see, next year it will be conceivably easier for Zanu-PF to eat into the opposition's territory than for the opposition to get a nibble at the ruling party's territory. 2023 will definitely be full of surprises."

Results of the March 26 by-elections, where Zanu-PF wrested two constituencies — Mutasa South and Epworth — from the opposition, gained a clutch of wards in urban areas and retained its seven contested constituencies with consummate ease are both instructive and ominous.

This trend will surely spill into next year's election, which certainly is not good news for the opposition MDC-CCC factions.

Winning the economic war

The evolving tectonic shifts on the local political landscape, which are marked by the resurgence of Zanu-PF in territories that hitherto were citadels of the opposition, are easy to interpret and predict.

Before, the opposition never saw the need to define its ideology and what it stood for, or sell any meaningful message, for it always knew that the electorate in its constituencies would always vote for it regardless because of the deterioration in service delivery and the economy — never mind the fact that they were solely responsible of the rot in Local Government, which, in fact, is at the coalface of service delivery.

Weird as it might sound, the opposition, which controls local authorities in urban constituencies, does not have any motivation to fix roads, streetlights, deliver water and collect garbage, as it knows that not doing so creates an aggrieved ratepayer who can be easily motivated to misbegottenly vote against the ruling party in the vain hope of changing the status quo.

In a twisted way, its ineptitude and incompetence becomes a source of political capital that can be easily weaponised by blaming Central Government.

But the post-2017 administration is a different political creature altogether.

It knows that true to Abraham Lincoln's word, "the best way to predict the future is to create it."

And, as Bill Clinton's former political campaign strategist James Carville once said: "It's the economy, stupid!"

ED has been turning the tide economically and, at the same time, flipping the political script.

In less than five years, he is closer to making Zimbabwe food secure.

Picture this: In 2017, the country produced about 158 000 tonnes against national demand of 400 000 tonnes, but this has been progressively increasing to a record 337 000 tonnes from 66 000 hectares last year.

This year, Government plans to put 75 000 ha under the cereal.

Not only does this guarantee us our daily bread, but it also cushions us from global shocks caused by disruptions in wheat supplies due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Our maize output at 2,7 million tonnes was also the highest since 1984.

Expansion of irrigation to meet the magic target of covering between 300 000 to 400 000 hectares by next year to underwrite food security is proceeding with insane and obscene haste across the country.

Need we also talk about progress in mining, which raked in a whopping US$5,3 billion last year as new mines opened and old ones expanded.

All this, the World Bank and IMF has begun to notice and grudgingly acknowledge.

Politically, a happy farmer and happy miner — who is never an urbanite — means a happy voter.

Remember, the bulk of the maize and gold is delivered by communal and small-scale producers in that order, who continue to pocket billions that continue to be funnelled by Government.

And devolution, which is delivering new schools, clinics, bridges and roads at a scale never witnessed by the rural voter, is effectively locking in the rural vote for Zanu-PF, which points to huge numbers in 2023.

Also, the intervention by the Zanu-PF Government in urban areas through effective road works and demonstrable plans to decisively solve the water crisis especially in two main conurbations — Harare and Bulawayo — through ongoing works on Gwayi-Shangani Lake and Kunzvi Dam is lifting spirits, raising hopes and showing the urban voter what is possible; more so, the resolve, commitment and vision of the regime that sits in Harare.

The urban voter, too, has begun to notice and grudgingly aknowledge.

The numbers of the just-ended elections show us a ruling party that is growing stronger and bolder, and which, in all likelihood, is going to double down in the home straight to the next elections.

This radically changes the 2023 political matrix.

As we are increasingly seeing in Russia, winning the economic war is synonymous with winning the political war.

The African revolutionary, Amilcar Cabral, could not have articulated it any better when he said: "Always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men's minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, the construction of peace, progress and independence are hollow words devoid of any significance unless they can be translated into a real improvement of living conditions."

And ED, who is very familiar with the works of Amilcar Cabral, knows this very well.

You see, wisdom is better than silver and gold.

According to Proverbs 24:14, "Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

Bishop out!

Source - The Sunday Mail
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