Around 6 million of the 15 million Zimbabweans have registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioner to cast their votes in the harmonised elections slated for 23rd of August this year.
This epistle will use statistics to highlight how poverty is the death knell to Mnangagwa’s bid to retain power.
Picture Quotes. Com, agree with this writing that, “statistics can be made to prove anything even the truth”. In the same vein, the write up uses statistics to prove the truth.
72 percent of the total population lives below the poverty datum line and these poor people will decide those who will represent them in various positions during the election.
Approximately 4,05 million Zimbabweans are estimated to be facing insufficient food consumption as from the beginning of February 2023 as revealed by HungerMap LIVE.
The number of people with insufficient food has increased from February and by the time the country holds elections, the level of lack will have exponentially increased if the currently economic landscape is anything to go by.
According to Forbes Magazine, 95 percent of the population is unemployed and those employed are struggling to make ends meet as inflation is eroding their indecent wages.
$1 USD is equivalent to $4 000 Zimbabwe Dollars on the blackmarket. Most of the employees are earning below $100 USD if their salries are converted to USD.
According to UNICEF, half of the adolescents in Zimbabwe aged 13 to 19 are outside of school.
Poverty is the reason why they are not at school, because parents lack the resources for school fees leading to absenteeism.
Some of the adolescents who dropped out of school due to poverty have attained 18 years and will be participating in the elections alongside their poverty-stricken parents.
President Mnangagwa’s government allocated 12 percent of the budget to Education below the globally agreed target of 20 percent.
The economically less well off have the power in their hands through the ballot with which to determine who runs the affairs of the country for the majority’s good.
In a free and fair elections, voting determines who wins positions of power.
Free and fair election breads good governance and deters the election of bad leaders, holds bad leaders accountable through de-election and enables citizens participation in decision making vital for economic development.
Once in power, elected officials help to oversee how society is organised and how public funds are allocated.
Bernard Shaw aptly said, “it is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics”. Reading to this far, is a semblance of intelligence and statics do not lie.
The statistics above highlights the level of how poverty is affecting lives, taking into cognisance that more than half of the population are wallowing in poverty, the poor can wittingly utilise their vote in the forthcoming election.
Mnangagwa will not have a chance to retain power considering the large number of people dwelling in poverty.
In normal essance of the word normal, the majority will not vote him back to power considering their poor living standards.
With inflation eroding the purchasing power as well as living standards and corruption shoveling cash from public treasures to private vaults of the political elites, an election becomes the only way of correction of the misnomer.
Had the numerical polling strength of the poor truly mattered, election outcomes would have shown how the poor, using their voter’s card, punish bad leaders by dethroning and booting them out of office and replacing them with good ones.
Sadly the poor often times wind up being on the receiving end of a flawed electoral process.
Elections campaign in new democracies are often characterised by significant amounts of vote buying which is an attempt by political parties to mobilise support by distributing cash or money or material benefits to voters in exchange for support before the election.
Poor people are often identified as the prime targets of vote buying campaigns by politicians.
Poverty creates fertile grounds for electoral clientelism and vote buying.
Clientelism is the payment by political parties of minor benefits such as food, clothing or cash to citizens in exchange of their votes.
Poverty is an important source of vote buying that enables political parties to exploit the material needs of deprived voter groups by trading rewards for vote.
So many of the poorest people choose not to vote not because of apathy but disgust.
Poverty makes elections costly it attracts voter bribery, elections violence, costly electoral justice and voter’s apathy amongst other ways.
Through vote buying, intimidation, hook or crook that are the only chances that Mnangagwa can win an election as the statistics has revealed that it is impossible to win a fair election when you are presiding over a poor and unhappy citizens.
Conclusively, “Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted and that in the voting booth, their vote has a much weight as that of any CEO, any member of the congress, or any President”, as said by Barbra Boxer.
In the same breath, citizens of Zimbabwe are urged to vote in their numbers and vote for leaders of their choice that have the propensity of uplifting their living standards.