In the early hours of Friday the 3rd of August 2018 President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa was declared the new president of the Republic of Zimbabwe after winning with a 50.8% margin against Nelson Chamisa who lost with 44.3% in the famous #Electionszw #ZimbabweDecides2018. Congratulations are in order fellow Midlander!
So regarding this election that we’ve just been in, i’ve been clear to say the two major contesting parties to me looked the same, that means i have little disappointment in the winning president. I am however certainly disappointed that i didn’t want the ruling party to have more than 30% representatives in parliament, i hoped for a young dynamic parliament with more political parties and independent candidates in the parliament to keep whoever would have won at their toes in the building of the Zimbabwe we want. So it goes without saying that regarding the presidential elections i’m not even in mourning or disappointed mood as i said, the two men looked the same for me and my priorities and what i want in a leader, they both had pros and cons and so do their political parties.
What i’ve been super clear about is my role in shaping the Zimbabwe i want with whoever would have won this election. I strongly feel we have a chance to use the constitution and the law to enforce the transformation realising that its my role to hold leadership accountable in enforcing and establishing the systems we want for the better governance of our country. Which means my work begins now for the next five years.
My priorities are to see more women leaders in this next government as this election took us more than 40years ago from all political parties decreasing the representation of women in politics. Now the first test for President Mnangagwa is in his appointment of his Vice President where it goes without saying that a woman MUST be part of that presidium. In the next cabinet there must an equal representation of women and men since this country is full of not only well abled ZanuPF women, but female experts from the academia, business, civil society, independent candidates who are not attached to any political parities, the arts, women in the opposition who he can appoint to various positions. I personally want to push for education and amplify #EveryChildInSchool Campaign using the law and advocacy to ensure that the more than 27% of our children who are out of school right now inspite of our friendly constitution are in school by 2023. I want to push for ending child marriages to advance economic and well being of women and society and promoting reproductive health rights of women and youths.
I want to push for economic empowerment of girls and young women with this new government. I want to push for transparency in my country, what does “Zimbabwe Open for Business” mean to an everyday citizen, how do we make sure the corruption that we’ve been crying about ends in our country from today? I will not wink and wake up later, I want to be part of that NOW!!. I want to further my education from my current masters degree so that i can better position myself locally, regionally and internationally for other opportunities.
I want to also improve my own economic empowerment to ensure that i can contribute to my charity activities for we are more intelligent to not contribute financially to our own development as a people, Africa deserves all of us to be entrepreneurial and make the resources to finance our own development as we work with international development partners. I’ve already started on this journey through my social entrepreneurial TV Show IDentities Umhlobo that shows on ZBC TV and also online.
Another thought is Zimbabweans are not homogenous, so to attempt to think that everyone supported what you support is a disrespect and disregard for their independent choice and failure to recognise the tenets of democracy that people have a choice to make for themselves. While i can understand your anger and frustration my friend, its important to stop and take stoke, so it dawns on you that there are actually people who might have voted differently from you, that people are different and priorities are different thats why we all have a right to choose and to participate. So we need to exercise respectful disappointment.
I can understand if you choose to curse and be abusive on your own wall, i will simply respectfully unfollow you for a season and then refollow you when there is calm, what i won’t tolerate is while some of us are trying to move on with the programme you come and bash on my social media walls, or you think i should share in your disappointment, while i empathise with you, NO, i won’t partake in that because i’ve been hurting and screaming with the support of a few people who got it. The abuse that i personally suffered and that of many other women leaders during the campaign trail, while most of my friends here ignored in the political parties helped me deal with my own disappointment, and helped me have clarity of how i will fight for a Zimbabwe thats ideal for me where what is important can only be defined by me and like minded people, and i’m ready to fight for it.
So i’m now in the work mode, i’m also planning and working towards my personal goals and that of my work. The difference between winners and losers is how one deals with disappointments. I only hope that whoever didn’t make it in this election stops the blame game, stops attempting to drag the will of the masses of moving forward and really introspect on what they could or couldn’t have done to be better candidates to those who didn’t vote for them. Dismissing concerns and always shifting blame will bring one back to the same place in 2023.
I want to still believe in the spirit of November 18 2017 and i urge my friends at home in Zimbabwe and in the diaspora to begin to be the ambassador of our dear country so we are not the ones wasting the next 5 years with our own selfish denial of loosing this election, with bad mouthing our country, but to ‘lean in’ to the opportunities this beloved country has. Many of you engaged me on what and how to identify opportunities back home post November 18 2017, i urge and encourage you to keep the same spirit now, lets build our country.
I end with this message that i woke up to today from Dr Noah Manyika of Build Zimbabwe Alliance one of the presidential candidates in the 2018 elections, he says, “There are many who did not vote for us who need our leadership. Some have already started reaching out….This is the time to demonstrate that it was never about us as we said from the beginning. This is the time to prove that it was never about personal ambition, but about conviction… I am totally convinced there is a lot of good that is going to come out of this if our response is right”.. that to me is the voice of mature leadership.
Until next time!
“Sun-Downers” are periodic (hopefully every Sunday) personal thoughts on my blog with me Nyaradzo Nyari Mashayamombe, Human Rights Activist, Founder and Executive Director of Tag a Life International (TaLI), a Girls and Young women’s rights Organisation, Executive Producer and Host of IDentities Umhlobo, a TV Show currently on ZBC TV that talks about Social, Economic and Political Issues, Recording singer/song writer, Entrepreneur, and lover of All things good in life! Follow me on twitter @nyarimash, Instagram @nyarimash.