The political landscape in Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, is interesting.
From the campaigns, the slogans, the regalia, the voting queues to the announcement of the results, there is no doubt that election season creates a lot of buzz, controversy and generates a lot of excitement in the nation.
There is however a huge problem, what happens after we vote them in?
Almost everywhere, it’s the same story. They campaign, get voted in and they are never seen again. In all honesty, growing up I never knew the name of my Councillor or my member of parliament.
Then, after 5 years of silence, they pop up, promising all kinds of things and selling a pipe dream.
That culture needs to be canceled, it’s time Zimbabwe introduced the politics of accountability.
Here are 5 things you should do after a candidate wins.
1. *ACCEPT THE VICTORY*
A lot of time is spent being in denial, especially if your favorite candidate did not win.
It wastes time, instead put your full support to the initiatives that will be introduced, even if you disagree with their political ideologies.
Governance is not about political posturing but creating a better living for communities, we need to step out of election mode.
There is also a tendency to over celebrate a victory, if your candidate wins, but we should always remember that a winning candidate is actually a servant to all. We are not celebrating that they have become a “boss”, it’s not about them but about us.
2. *REMEMBER AND RECORD THE PROMISES*
In the heat of campaigns, politicians promise a lot. Always record the promises, write them down so that you follow up on the aspects that made you vote for them initially.
Ask for time-frames to each and every promise so that everything is measurable and performance can be evaluated.
3. *FORM WHATSAPP GROUPS AND ADD YOUR MP/COUNCILLOR*
Communication channels must be kept open. In this digital and social media era, it is a crime against humanity for politicians to bar flexible communication.
Your representative must have a social media account and be actively communicating with the populace, create platforms and add him or her.
4. *SCHEDULE REGULAR IN PERSON MEETINGS*
It is vital that MPs and Councillors meet their constituencies regularly.
Maybe as simple as the first Saturday of every month or even quarterly, regardless of the time period, a representative must know members of their community personally.
It is also up to the community to invite their representative to social events to interact with them and also to keep them in touch with all that occurs.
5. *CREATE SPACE FOR OTHER LEADERS TO FREELY EMERGE TOWARDS THE NEXT ELECTION*
Our representatives should not create a reign of terror where fear rules over everything.
While it is ridiculous for new candidates to campaign soon after someone else’s victory, it is also their right to campaign especially towards the next election.
The biggest legacy that an MP or Councillor can have in their community, is creating an atmosphere that allows new leaders to emerge.
The politics is over, the winners have been announced, its time for Zimbabwe to embrace a new mindset…this is the age of accountability.