Party politician overwhelmed – NewsDay Zimbabwe
By Tapiwa Gomo
With the 2023 election approaching, jockeys and jostling for a political party’s candidacy will soon become the order of the day. The process itself is far from clean.
It’s about pleasing the whole hierarchy of all the levers of political power in the party and that doesn’t come cheap. It also involves sending gifts and donations to the base to entice them to vote for you.
At this stage, it’s not about ideas. It is about what can be brought to the tables of those who lead the party and perhaps the government. This comes in two forms. First, there are gifts and donations; and second, political weight. So all the hard work is not about the prospects of the candidate or the people, but about satisfying those in power.
You entered politics with a confused view of what it means. You think it’s about serving the people and the country. You have believed in transformative ideas, but you are also aware that running as an independent candidate in Africa is a tall order.
You also know that elsewhere, several trends have accelerated the demise of political parties because they have become patronage programs that reward leaders and supporters with gifts and donations instead of advancing the welfare of the people. and economic growth.
So you join a political party for its supposed influence and clamor.
You convinced them that you strongly believed in their political party because they were the central organization of democratic accountability, vision and program implementation. Your journey begins. No one told you that after the elections the party leadership came and dined with the winners because they bring political currency to the affairs of power.
If you lose, you are discarded. But if you are one of the winners, count yourself lucky.
Then comes the process of aligning your thinking and behavior with party policies, reciting them at every rally, making them relevant to the work of government and the future of the country, even when you don’t believe in them. absolutely not. In fact, you forget why you joined politics as soon as you realize you’ve enslaved yourself.
At this point, you are waking up to a new reality that you never anticipated. You begin to realize that your main objective is to recover the personal resources invested in pleasing the party in order to win the political seat. It’s not an easy race either. It’s about pleasing power and dancing to its tune to be selected for influential and powerful government and parliamentary positions.
It’s also about assuring the power that whatever loot you take from the state coffers, you strive to share a percentage with the power. It is about massaging power so that your criminal activities are not seen as corruption. If you miss a subscription, the political guillotine in the name of abuse of power and corruption will be right on your neck claiming your blood.
By doing so, you keep your eyes on the upcoming elections. You did an exercise on lessons learned from your previous electoral experience.
To your advantage, you now know the ins and outs of all the political games and you now possess power and influence in the party and government.
You now swing with them, but you also know that there are others in the political wings who strongly subscribe to power in the hope of entering the party and the government.
You fear that access to power in this system is given on the basis of the highest bidder.
So your game now until the next election has to be stronger. Give everything to power. Call them the elect, the gods, the almighty, the untouchables and the saints.
Make sure everyone holding a pen or microphone has the incentive to amplify your message so that it echoes across all political mountains and rivers until it reaches the hearts of leadership.
When you hear leaders addressing you as an example of their faithful daughter or son, you know the message has been received and your next candidacy is secure.
You now have a better understanding of the nature of the game.
It’s about stealing more, constantly sending your subscriptions to power, pledging your unquestionable allegiance, all while ensuring that your constituency structures and the people running your campaign are satisfied.
The bills are huge. You may feel captured or maybe you are. You feel wronged, overused or misled. Take a glass of cold water and continue. These thoughts will soothe the system. He loves to chew and eat his own. You have a family to raise.
Also, don’t be bothered by people wondering why you have nothing to show for all the hard work, media appearances, political power, and access to resources you’ve enjoyed during your mandate.
They don’t know how taxed this business is and all the hard work is about pleasing power by giving it more power. Power does not steal. He receives from those who do. He plays it safe.
You are always ready to go and recoup your losses, but you are mentally and emotionally drained. Unfortunately, you can’t tell anyone for fear of falling prey.
At this point, you now understand why your predecessors became shameless full-time plunderers of government resources. You now understand why some of you and before you have been so brutal and heartless.
You also now understand why some of your predecessors became poor the day they were fired. It is a borrowed lifestyle that is enjoyed at the whim of power. Such are the unprecedented experiences of the politicians of our political parties.
- Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa. He writes here in a personal capacity.