In 2008 June ZANU(PF) launched an election terror campaign where the party forced motorists to buy Robert Mugabe stickers throughout the country. Almost all motorists, particularly in the urban areas, had Robert Mugabe banners on their cars.
If a person who had been out of the country for a long time would have visited at that time, he was easily convinced that Mugabe was a man of the people as evidenced by the fleets of cars bedecked with the old man’s banners and stickers.
In the initial stages of the Mugabe campaign launch in 2008, I thought it was a joke. I stopped laughing when I was stopped by its militia who asked me where my Mugabe banner was. Thanks to my status in my job my life was saved.
I have been reminded of this bad experience by a new onslaught of Mugabe stickers, currently being sold on the streets of Harare for US$1 by vendors. According to the vendors the stickers, ‘Bob is my Man’, flooded the streets of Harare late last year and they are being bought in bulk from ZANU(PF) head offices for resale.
“We get them from the party’s head offices for US$0.50. If you make big orders the price is reduced. Although they are no longer selling we know that very soon motorists will be scrambling for them. I mean during election time, remember what happened last time. You better have one while stock still lasts my brother,”said one vendor.
I am saddened that we are back in the same cycle as the last run up to elections, but I have no choice but to buy one for my safety. Yet my heart breaks, for the fact is that by purchasing the Mugabe sticker I am financing the repressive political party at the same time as advertising the aged leader whom I wanted to see gone over 20 years ago.