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Matebeleland questions Zimbabwe's democracy

06 Jul 2018 at 15:14hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) held a multi-stakeholder transition dialogue in Bulawayo to encourage dialogue and citizen engagement towards sustainable political and socio- economic solutions, yesterday.

At a transition dialogue attended by various civil society organisations and diverse political party representatives from Bulawayo, Lupane, Plumtree, Tsholotsho, Beitbrigde, Gwanda, Umguza District among other areas, participants concluded that there is no 'democracy' in Zimbabwe.

"Those that are choosing stability over democracy are in fact voting instability," said Gift Siziba, the presenter also a social justice and human rights activist.

Siziba said the problem with the current ruling government is that they are busy singing the "Zimbabwe is open for business" mantra whilst in fact they are not listening to what Zimbabweans want.

"The government is focusing more on pleasing foreign investors while forgetting that citizens also need their attention," he said.

"Development without democracy is not progressive," added Siziba.

A participant from Zanu-PF said democracy will not help Zimbabwe pay the debts inherited from its predecessors.

"We need democracy to monitor and limit the spending appetite of the ruling," emphasized Siziba.

"We can let bygones be bygones but society can not progress without truth telling," said Siziba. Truth be told, the 2017 military takeover did not usher in democracy, said Siziba.

Most of the participants expressed sentiments on electoral related malpractices allegedly run by the ruling party.

A participant from Tsholotsho said due to the militarisation of the village, Tsholotsho residents are afraid of a second coming Gukurahundi.

"There is voter intimidation in Lupane. Those who do not support the ruling party are not given food aide," said a ZAPU representative from Lupane West.

"In Beitbrigde, traditional leaders are campaigning for the ruling party,"said a representative from Beitbrigde.

"Posters from my party are being removed and replaced by the ones from the ruling party," says a Mthwakazi Republic representative from Nkulumane.

Siziba urged the current government to restore trust to citizens and ensure that there will be free, fair and credible elections.

Source - Keith Sithole
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