Saturday, March 29, 2008

Change is in the air, I can smell it

Change is in the air comrades. I can smell it all the way from Zimbabwe. There are two aromas, both sweet (the scents of Makoni and Tsvangirai) competing against a stench so foul it can only be that of an aging dictator (Sekuru Bob).

Frankly, on this day of reckoning, I just don’t care which of the two sweet ones lingers in my nostrils when all is done. It is the foul one I want removed from my space forthwith.

Actually, foul smells aside, did you see the suit Bob was wearing when he cast his vote. Now, that’s an attire for one who knows retirement is nigh. Very grandpa-ish, in a strange way, for those who know how Mugabe can really don them sunjaz.

But the man still talks of “conquering”, “knocking each other out”.

Oh, hey, Bona (the first daughter) is voting. I wonder if she did some of that youthful rebellious stuff and voted for Makoni or Tsvangirai, instead of her father. You, know the kind of stuff someone will reveal in a biography or something, years later.

But I digress. I was talking about the sweet smell of change. It is permeating its way here from those long lines at polling stations, and from the news that almost everywhere the catch word is “change”.

The sweet aroma comes from the dozen or so people I talked to this morning, from across the entire country, all saying: “Forget the rally attendances and the messages of doom. We are changing things.”

One elderly lady in a high density suburb of Bulawayo whose son I grew up with (and he has travelled to Zimbabwe from South Africa to vote) told me this: “My son, the fact that you are calling me from that far, not across the road and that my own son is having to travel from across the border to vote, is enough for me to vote for change.”

“By the way, I am not alone in this,” she added as I was about to bid her farewell.

Now, if Bob wants to scuttle this dear lady’s dream for change by stealing the vote, then he should not wonder if she “knocks him out” with her cooking stick.