14 June 2018

Zimbabwe: MDC Wants to Sell Us a Dummy Again

opinion

The MDC Alliance election manifesto which was released last week can aptly be summed up as old wine in a new bottle.

Reading the MDC-T election manifesto of 2008 and its predecessor 2013 JUICE (Jobs, Upliftment, Infrastructure, Capital and Environment) and this year's policy document, SMART (Sustainable and Modern Agenda for Real Transformation), it is like paging through the same book with a similar narrative.

Like its predecessors, this year's manifesto is anchored on familiar pillars, namely governance, economy, infrastructure, social agenda and international relations.

What the MDC has simply done is to reproduce the both the 2008 and 2013 election manifestos with absolute no changes, only the covers and titles have been altered.

A legion of MDC supporters had waited for the release of this uninspiring election manifesto, which definitely lacks new ideas.

It is a pie in the sky like its predecessors and Chamisa is trying to sell these decidedly old and unwinning ideas in 2018.

MDC Alliance seems not to comprehend that things have changed, which need new and modern solutions and not their outdated policies they failed to implement during the subsistence of the Government National Unity they were part off.

Chamisa and company want to try third time lucky, selling to the electorate a dummy again.

He thinks it is a gullible audience he is dealing with.

Tendai Biti has been quoted countless times in media saying the MDC Alliance wants to grow the economy by 10 percent per annum, but this is not a new phenomenon.

In their last losing manifesto, JUICE, they made similar projections, the only alteration made in SMART is the time frame they want to miraculously achieve this arduous goal of creating a $100 billion economy.

In their last election policy document, they were projecting to attain it by 2040, but they have in SMART document reduced the period to 10 years (2028).

SMART talks about not appointing more than 15 ministers. There is nothing new about it since this was also captured in both their previous manifestos. This provision was also in the National Constitutional Assembly draft constitution crafted together with MDC to counter the late Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku-led commission's draft constitution to replace the Lancaster House independence document.

Their social cluster, just like in the past, is somewhat ambitious with unattainable goals.

On education, just like in the previous policy documents, they promise free primary education and availing grants for tertiary students.

Question is, who will foot the bill?

They have come up with a similar health care policy to that in JUICE, now called Chamisa Care - they copied the idea from former USA President Barrack Obama's so-called Obamacare. This is how SMART they are, bereft of originality.

Chamisa wants to provide free health services to people who above the age of 65. Is it achievable and later on sustainable? Maybe the only thing new in this year's manifesto are the fantasy bullet trains and spaghetti roads.

BBC Hardtalk anchor Stephen Suckur succinctly described Chamisa's policies on bullet trains as Alice-in-Wonderland.

The electorate will scrutinise SMART on its feasibility and originality, which test the latter has failed already. Sections of their manifesto are plagiarised from the South African constitution.

Chamisa has merely modified his predecessor, the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's policies.

SMART is a replica of its predecessors and lacks innovation, creativity, feasibility and originality.

MDC wants to sell us a dummy again.

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