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Zimbabwe's Obama says 'Vote out incompetent, corrupt leaders'

by Staff reporter
12 Feb 2023 at 10:10hrs | Views
The marginalisation of the Matebeleland region calls for a comprehensive and reconciliatory strategy that respects people's rights, the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) leader Robert Chapman has said.

Chapman's remarks come as he acknowledged that Matebeleland provinces are severely marginalised, a crisis that increasingly threatens communities' social and economic stability.

Speaking at his first public meeting at the Bulawayo Theatre, Saturday, which drew a large crowd, Chapman stated that as a mixed-race person, he recognises the difficulties minorities confront and understands how people in Matebeleland feel when they discuss marginalisation.

"I'm an orphan and mixed race, marginalised if you want to call it. I come from the Coloured community and sometimes they stay very close to each other, which I can relate to the people of Matebeleland. Sometimes people come to you because they want something, then for a certain period of time, you don't see them but they come again wanting something else. You know where I'm going with the story right, I understand that feeling," he said.

Chapman urged people to vote carefully, as their political choices on election day have the potential to change the current socio-economic crisis.

"This is a big responsibility, don't take that really lightly because it requires you to be involved in that decision. In the last 10 years, have you received service delivery that you elected those people to deliver for you? If the answer is no, remove them. If they are involved in corruption, remove them. If they are not from your community, remove them. This is your city, take your city back," he said, highlighting that Bulawayo needed better governance.

"Here in Bulawayo, they have not been serving you. It's time to return the power of the people," he said to resounding applause.

Impressed by the turnout in Bulawayo, Chapman said it would be a springboard for other meetings in the country.

"(Critics) said, ‘there are no structures, there are no people, he's by himself' but Bulawayo is full of energy. Our team has people from your area at a national level, provincial level, even constituency and below," he noted.

"If I do something wrong that offends you, they are here to correct me. There's no one person who can do this on his own, they will be very stupid and naive to think so. That's why this team is the one doing a lot of groundwork."

Also present at the meeting was Esnath Bulayani, a ‘popular' political figure, who previously served as the provincial coordinator for the Zimbabwe People First party led by former Vice President, Dr Joice Mujuru.

Chapman emphasized the need of electing capable candidates who could address citizens' concerns.

"I have no power to choose candidates for you, I'm also a candidate. In Bulawayo, it's your job to select your people because you have to live with that decision. If someone else makes that decision for you, there's no accountability," he said and encouraged people to immediately start identifying potential leaders.

"Start working with your team now and identify leaders in your community, people that build before the money shows up. I can tell you that Bulawayo has very smart people and also has beautiful people too," he joked.

Three pillars—prosperity, justice, and reconstruction—serve as the foundation of DUZ, said Chapman.

"We need our country to be working again," he said but lamented that "the country is not moving as there are no jobs, healthcare and the state of education is declining."

Chapman noted how Zimbabwe's justice system is not serving the people.

"Everywhere I go in this country, people are suffering, see teenage pregnancies, young kids on drugs, pensions and state funds are stolen. If you get abused, the police are not even funded, trained properly or given equipment to even deal with an accident. There is no fire department, no ambulances in the hospital, the reason is because there are thieves who are taking the money that belongs to us – the people," he said.

"The justice system has to work with the ordinary people. It must be the same justice system that protects us from outside infiltration taking our resources. The justice system must make sure that money made in provinces stays in the province. Justice is our biggest battle and is directly under the office of the president. I am committed to changing that for Zimbabwe. We cannot talk about economic investment in this country, if the justice system is not intact, and lacks accountability, otherwise, we are just dreaming."

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