The Final Battle for Total Control

Zimbabwean elections:  Blog – 17 July 2013

Mugabe’s second final battle

Look familiar?

Zanu PF Election posters – 2013

Election posters 2008

When I first saw the Zanu PF presidential election posters going up, I did a double take. They looked so familiar . . . I was sure I’d seen them before – in Zimbabwe’s June 2008 Presidential Run Off Election.

I looked closer at the poster, and saw the slogan: “This is the final battle for total control of Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans.” Yes, I thought, I’m sure I’ve heard that before.

So I went digging around at some old news coverage, and sure enough, the posters I’ve seen going up around Harare are Exactly The Same Ones as those used by Mugabe in June 2008. Don’t believe me? Check out these stories from Reuters, The Guardian and Getty Images.

Which leaves me wondering:

a)    Did  Zanu PF really have hundreds of election posters left over from June 2008 that they conveniently were able to dust off and put up again in July 2013?

b)    This final battle business. Does this mean the 2013 Harmonised Election is the second final battle? Has the final battle been raging on from 2008-2013, all during the inclusive government? Is 2013 the really final battle? What if there is another presidential run-off? Will that be the really truly final battle, no this time I’m not joking?

The MDC got a lot of flack for the 2005 “Final Push.” To me, Zanu PF’s election poster “Final Battle” redux is just as ridiculous.  But at least it’s given me one of the first good laughs of this election farce.

(Aside: The picture of the 2013 posters was taken in Newlands. The public toilet block at Newlands Shopping Centre was recently painted.  In an effort to keep the walls looking clean and sharp, a notice was put up on all the walls: No Posters – Offenders will be prosecuted. But do you think the City of Harare is going to be prosecuting Zanu PF for disregarding this notice and papering the toilet block with its posters for the 2013 Harmonised Elections? Somehow I doubt it.)

22 June 2008

Extract from article by the LA Times: 

Brother’s dying cries echo in a Zimbabwean’s mind

….. The streets of Harare are plastered with green posters of Mugabe and ZANU-PF slogans: "This is the final battle for total control." "100% empowerment." "Total independence."