Respect the urban vote, Mr President

EDITOR — The Combined Harare Residents Association would like to condemn the statement issued by President Robert Mugabe during the burial of former liberation fighter Mike Karakadzai.

The president threatened Harare and Bulawayo residents with unspecified action for investing their vote in Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe.

In Harare, the MDC won most seats while in Bulawayo, Zanu PF got nothing.

The association, being a representative of urban residents in Harare, would like to describe the statement as sad, intolerant and inciting.

We know that in politics there can never be a scenario where everyone could share the same political opinion hence we have to be tolerant of divergent and dissenting voices which only serve to prove that we are a heterogeneous society.

For threatening to boycott assisting residents of Harare and Bulawayo with efficient and effective water provision, Mugabe is shooting himself and his government in the foot.

We will not hesitate to boycott our engagement with his Zanu PF government which is wholly reliant on the tax payer’s money.

Harare and Bulawayo are the engines of the national economy respectively, so by boycotting their service, he is not punishing the residents of both cities, but the shock will be felt in Binga or Mberengwa.

We are experiencing erratic water and electricity supply since the July 31 elections and we now strongly believe that this is a method of punishing residents for voting for other individuals outside the Zanu PF confines.

It should be put clearly that Zanu PF has no monopoly over the people and they should be alive to this notion if ever they want to engage effectively with those they lead.

CHRA will not beg the new government to give residents water, but will make it clear that water is our inalienable right and that by supplying us with water; the government is not doing us a favour, but is simply fulfilling its obligation as enshrined in the Constitution.

We will not stop to demand our right to water just because Zanu PF lost seats in Harare and Bulawayo.

Water is our right and we will do everything legal to make sure that we get it in adequate quantities.

Going forward, we would like to urge the president to retract his unfortunate statement and walk his talk of peace and reconciliation.

You cannot indicate right then turn left hence it’s imperative for Mugabe to walk his own talk.

CHRA will continue to fight for good local governance practiced on a non-partisan basis.

CHRA

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