Most of you have asked what motivated me to contest for the post of vice president in the National People's Party. You have also asked me whether I think I will win. I would start with the second question.
I am not interested in pyrrhic victories and zero sum political games. I am a political activist, I have been one all my life. I am interested in creating awareness, conscientising and galvanising the masses of our party for the ultimate victory against Zanu-PF. If we are to win ,we have to do things differently from the past, from our predecessors whom victory has eluded.
The three candidates from our party that i am contesting against are the quintessential candidates to illustrate certain political notions.
Why I contested against Builder Dr Siphepha Nkomo? He has a rich legacy, a stalwart from the liberation strugle and a seasoned political player you ask.
I contested against Dr Siphepha to challenge two notions,political myths and stereotypes. Firstly that young people cannot participate in leadership , I respect him, he is old and he has played his role.
This is a Zanu-PF notion, Zanu-PF discourages young people from participating in politics because it knows it will never win if young people vote and actively take part in politics. This is how Zanu-PF has continuously rigged elections by telling you, you can't take part. Most of us young people are complaining that the top six contestants are old people .
Did you put your name forward for nomination? No. The nomination process was open and transparent no one was discriminated against.
Secondly to challenge the notion that Dr Siphepha Nkomo has struggle credentials and I dont have because I was not yet born during the liberation struggle. That has to be challenged, its Zanu-PF that feeds those notions into our political psyche, again because Zanu-PF benefits from excluding young people from politics. If all the young people will vote and actively take part in politics we will relegate Zanu-PF into the dustbins of history.
Why I contested against Builder Curthbert Ncube? He is rich and I am poor, you ask. This illustrates my other point: politics is for everyone regardless of class, social identity and status.
Did any of you, my fellow poor Builders and compatriots file their nomination papers? There was no money involved. This again is a Zanu-PF notion.
If all the poor people ( mostly made poor by Zanu-PF ) will vote and take part in politics Zanu-PF will be out of power. No poor person can ever genuinely vote for Zanu-PF, the strategy of Zanu-PF is to dehumanize poor people and make them believe they are nothing without Zanu-PF's rich 'chefs'.
Why I contested against Builder Dr Linda Dube. She is educated and holds a PhD, you ask. To challenge the notion, political leadership is for the few educated elite.
Education is not a pre-requisite in politics unless the strategy is to exclude the majority of our uneducated populace. Again that is a Zanu-PF notion to exclude you from taking party, so that you follow the authority of the educated blindly without asking, without questioning, without criticising, so we follow blindly like zombies. If we are to entrench democracy in Zimbabwe, that notion has to be challenged 'organised scepticism' is such a basic tenet of this much touted education.
Again, I was helped throughout the nomination process ,no one discriminated against me because of my level of education. Compatriots, how many of you filed their papers and were excluded because they are illiterate?
Until we depart from politics of the past, until we believe in ourselves , until we cast the Zanu-PF rigging demons that are entrenched in our subconscious.
We will continue promoting Zanu-PF tendencies and turning everything we touch into Zanu-PF without even knowing it. We need a radical and paradigmatic shift from politics of the past and chart a new kind of politics for our country, the politics of active participation and inclusitivity will liberate us from the evil tentacles of Zanu-PF
Nyathi Bongani NPP Vice President Nominee
(The young people shall free this country.)
- Bongani Nyathi