Our work on the ground is our manifesto – Paradza
Bulawayo (New Ziana) – The ruling Zanu PF party is not worried about coming up with an election manifesto as the massive development work government was carrying out throughout the country provided enough evidence of its plans and policy direction, a government official has said.
The country is headed for a general election next week in which a new president, parliamentary and local government representatives will be elected.
Addressing a media workshop here, Deputy Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Kindness Paradza said Zanu-PF’s election manifesto was the profound transformative development work its government had carried out, against the odds of western sanctions, in the last five years.
His comments come in the wake of questions why the party had not, as it always did in the past, come up with an election manifesto for the August 23 election.
Paradza said manifestos were mere party wish-lists, beyond which Zanu-PF had gone by implementing various developmental projects and programmes which were positively transforming the lives of millions of people on the ground throughout the country.
“These manifestos being talked about are wish-lists.They are different from what we have as government in power. As government, we are running a number of projects at district, provincial and national level. We don’t have wish lists. This administration has projects such as Hwange 7 and 8, Gwayi-Shangani, Masvingo-Beitbridge road,” he said.
“We are just ticking in the boxes as the administration in power, and we don’t have wish lists. It’s up to you as journalists to interrogate wish lists against the reality on the ground. This is why some of us we didn’t have what you call manifestos. We have real issues on the ground,” said Paradza.
He said Zanu PF was now focusing on selling what it had done in the last five years and intend to do in future if it wins the elections.
“We are now focusing on what we have done in the last five years, what we are doing now and what we are going to do in the next five years in terms of finishing all the projects already in motion,” he said.
He dismissed claims opposition parties were being shut out of the national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, saying the country had 32 other radio and television channels they could access.
“We should not worry much about ZBC; there are other outlets. There are 32 outlets including community radios. Whoever wants to use those outlets are free,” Paradza said.
“We deserve an award as government because we have at least opened up media space. This time around the situation is different from the way it was prior to 2018,” he said.
He implored the media to be professional and objective in covering the elections, saying this was imperative in ensuring peace and harmony.
“Let’s not be emotional when reporting elections. Let’s not be embedded with political parties, let’s be objective. Resist becoming an activist, just be professional, go back to basics of journalism,” said Paradza.