Voters grill political parties

HARARE - As elections draw near, Zanu PF is dangling 1 600 stands in the Gumbeze area of Marondera Central.

Zanu PF is also offering money to youths, chickens for rearing for old people over 65, two weeks before the plebiscite.

Stewart Matereke, Marondera Central Ward 2 political commissar made the announcement at a meeting organised by the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ).

The meeting was meant for three political parties in the Global Political Agreement, to speak about peace and also say what they are offering to communities in the coming elections.

Matereke, clad in a bomber jacket and sneakers, said: “This would be given to everyone despite belonging to Zanu PF. Everyone would be given stands, money for projects and we do not forget the elderly. The old would be given chickens for rearing. Zanu PF is a party for everyone, so everyone who comes to us would be given these items.”

The ward political commissar’s statement seem to have angered members of the audience and one elderly man stood up sharply and said: “We do not want to be taken for advantage. You Zanu PF people have always offered us non-existent stands in Gumbeze area.

“In 1985 you offered us the same stands but we never got them. You should have respect for the people, we are thinking individuals and this time we will not be hoodwinked.”

A woman who did not identify herself for fear of victimisation said Zanu PF should desist from using the same tactics each election because people are wiser.

“This has become a habit of Zanu PF to want to offer us things before elections. If I am given this stand I know I would be asked to become a member of Zanu PF, failure of which I would be chucked out of the house. This is Zanu PF tricks, we know them. Where were they with the goods over the years?”

However a well-spoken Matereke assured the audience that this time Zanu PF was standing by its words. “You should try us this time because you can actually acquire your residential stand, money for a project and chickens so you can start a business.”

Another resident of Marondera Central complained that a place in Ward Five at Chitanda Shopping Centre was turned into a Zanu PF political base.

He said members of the MDC were being threatened and harassed when they pass through the shopping centre wearing their party regalia.

However, Jonathan Gumbodete, Welshman Ncube-led MDC aspiring councillor for Ward 10 and Funnel Mlambo, Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC chairperson for Ward 7 said their political parties were offering jobs in the coming elections.

The audience however, took them to task asking them how they were going to create jobs in Zimbabwe. Gumbodete said:  “We are going to attract investors that would come in with jobs and we are going to institute order in the industrial and commercial sectors that can result in job creation. Our Manifesto speaks of these things.”

Mlambo said besides jobs, Tsvangirai-led MDC would focus on health, education and the general well-being of the people.

Meanwhile, George Makoni the CCDZ’s communication officer said: “CCDZ will continue to encourage dialogue, tolerance and peaceful co-existence between all Zimbabweans. People should vote for candidates of their choice from an informed position."

“Elections come and go but the community will remain, there is more which unites us than what divides us in our communities. The programme will be taken to all provinces, even after the elections, for it is CCDZ’s firm belief that peace and development are intertwine.”

 

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