After all the media furore about party advertising in this election, many of us waited excitedly to hear the first adverts from the MDC. We wanted to hear what they had to say when they could get their message across directly to the public, unfettered by the media.

And what we heard was truly shocking.

“Once a nation of happiness, once a nation of joy, this was Zimbabwe’s story before it was all taken from us. Once again, we have an opportunity to regain our price” the narrator informed us.

The obvious question here is when exactly is the MDC referring to? If ZANU-PF came to power in 1980 with independence, then the time period they are referring to is clearly before then, when we lived under colonial rule.

This is astounding. The MDC’s first campaign advert is based on the idea that under colonial rule – when lest we forget we were slaves and servants in our own country – ours was a nation of happiness, joy and pride!

Have they lost their minds? Does Chamisa really hark back to a time when we were second class citizens in our own land? Is that the story he wants to take us back to?

Chamisa and co love to complain about the media. About how the Herald and ZBC distort their words and take them out of context.

But this is an advert. They made it. Nobody is putting words in their mouth. For some reason, Chamisa thinks the best case he can make to the Zimbabwean people is that things were better under colonial rule, when we had pride (!), and he will bring us back to that halcyon era.

This is a new Zimbabwe, and we are looking forward. The era of relating everything to the Chimurenga is behind us. In this campaign, the parties are making their case to the people based on the future, not the past.

But surely this doesn’t mean that we can erase an entire period from our history.

Yes, Mugabe and co made mistakes, but we cannot allow a contender for the presidency to tell us that things were better under white rule!

We can never forget where we came from. We can never vote for someone who wants to take us back to a time when we were not free.

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