I thought we had seen it all in terms of election campaigns and bootlicking but with the way things are going, looks like we ain’t seen nothing yet! President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s people went a notch higher this week as they unveiled branded perfumes named ‘The Game Changer’ or ‘Victory Scent’. The perfumes bear Mnangagwa’s pictures and the ZanuPF logo. They also contain the message, ‘2023, vote ED’. We are used to branded clothing items (as you are in Botswana) but it seems these are now outdated and no longer doing the trick. Well known former news reader and Office of the President envoy, Lee Ann Bernard, posted a picture of the perfumes on social media on Tuesday with the following comment, “Just spray yourselves as you walk past the stubborn citizens. Let them smell the scent of victory…” I tried to remember if I had seen such campaigning before and if my memory serves me right, this could be the first publicity stunt of its kind. So, I guess ZanuPF supporters need to show their patriotism by buying this perfume, meaning that at their gatherings they should all smell the same. Otherwise someone reeking of a different cologne will be considered a sell-out. We are really in for interesting times; I wonder what else they will unveil as the build up to next year’s elections continues. Mnangagwa’s image out there is not in a good state following accusations by controversial Australian-based Susan Mutami that he is a rapist and murderer. Though the president’s office decided to remain mum on the allegations, the 33-year-old’s accusations were quite damaging and could have consequences in future so the man really needs some serious good publicity and re-branding, if I may say. In other news, on Monday our government finally moved with the times by declaring wearing of masks outdoors for those fully vaccinated is no longer mandatory. However, the vaccinated must always carry their vaccination cards. This means law enforcement agents will be doing random checks and, knowing our police officers, they have already set daily targets for themselves as they will be demanding spot fines from those with no masks and no cards. Sometime last year, I had to part with my hard-earned R50 for not wearing a mask despite it hanging on my neck as I forgot to pull it up the moment I stepped out of the car. Unfortunately, three hungry police officers were nearby and they immediately pounced on me. So, it was either I give them money for lunch or go with them to the police station. Very annoying! I foresee many parting with their cash for not wearing their masks and not carrying their cards as there is always that unlucky day.