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Voters must be wary of fly-by-night politicians

08 Mar 2022 at 05:44hrs | Views
THE elderly, who were neglected during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns, have suddenly become darlings of political parties seeking votes as the country heads for the polls scheduled for  March 26.

Exactly two years ago during the same period, Gerald Ncube (65) was among the elderly in Nkayi South desperately waiting in vain for COVID-19 relief grants.

The government had announced a $600 million facility targeting the vulnerable in society, including informal traders, whose means of survival was disrupted by COVID-19 lockdown measures. Under the facility, each beneficiary was entitled to monthly support of $200 — then enough to buy a 10kg bag of mealie-meal and a two-litre bottle of cooking oil.

But Ncube is among many villagers who feel they were neglected after having failed to receive support — financial or otherwise in their hour of need.

Fast forward to 2022, all-terrain high clearance twin-cabs of all types from different political parties are trudging along the dusty roads of Nkayi South donating freebies.

Ncube says this is not new as election seasons always bring baskets of freebies from agricultural inputs to T-shirts.

By-elections to fill 28 parliamentary and 105 local government seats are due on March 26. The country will also hold general elections in 2023 and political parties have not wasted time in kick-starting their campaigns several months ahead of the polls.

In Matabeleland North province, there will be a by-election in Binga North and Tsholotsho South. Local authority by-elections will be held in Bubi, Lupane, Nkayi and Victoria Falls.

During COVID-19-induced lockdowns, political parties were nowhere to be seen. The elderly who were forsaken have suddenly become darlings. Social grants from the Department of Social Welfare did not reach them or were very paltry when received. Surviving became a challenge.  

Source - Bulletin
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