Simple reflections on ZITF 2018 – Passports must be accessible to all.

Today on 24 April 2018, I visited the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2018, one thing that struck me is that, I visited the Registrar Department then made a decision to visit the Passport desk. I asked how long does it take to have a same day Passport.

I was told it takes only few hours in Harare but 24 working hours if you are outside Harare. Something quickly came to my mind, I asked why was it so, that other citizens have to wait for 24 working hours to get a very essential travel document whilst others get it less than 9 hours. It then dawned to me that this deprives other citizens opportunities to clinch business deals in the event they have to travel out of the country on an urgent basis.

I quipped the lady manning the desk that they must decentralise that service as it violates the right to non discrimination of citizens. She politely said I must write my suggestion or comment in their visitors book. I hope my concern will be attended to.

I must say that I also saw not so many small scale business persons exhibiting. I saw majority government departments and its various agencies. I think we must see more traders given an opportunity to exhibit than to see governments seemingly dominating the exhibition not withstanding that they also sell their services or products.

I of course managed to create linkages for the informal economy that I am involved in. I made linkages with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Corporation to see if they can interact with Informal Traders Associations like Bulawayo Vendors Trust. I also made contacts with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs – Companies registration, I was shown a Draft Bill amending the companies inline with #EaseofDoingbusiness.

I of course commend government for taking this initiative.

I also saw that Zanu PF has hired the entire Hall to exhibit whilst other parties at war on names.

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#ZITF2018 roars into life tomorrow, althought it is the glamorous Zimbabwe Trade Expo Extravaganza.

What are low hanging fruits for Bulawayo and any legacy it leaves for Bulawayo besides dead grace as it suffers hosting.

My reality check on current political developments

In this short piece I seek to express my views that may sound unpopular to my friends. I am making a short analysis of political developments in the country.  Firstly, I want to look at the current epoch of having many political parties. In my view, to have many political parties I think it is the democracy that our parents fought for during the liberation struggle, it is good because it gives people a wide array of choices. However having so many parties, I think it is a result of failure by opposition parties to dislodge ZANU PF over successive years, thus many people think they could be the little messiahs, the other point is that almost all the parties seem to be driven by the desire to get positions or get funding from sponsors than to serve the people.

Advent of many political parties poses an inevitable challenge that the electorate may have problems in identifying party symbols in the ballot as some will be having almost similar signs.  Some opposition leaders seemingly are not genuine but driven by greed and to also try and get numbers that may make them access the Political Parties Finances that is parceled out to parties at the expense of service delivery.

However, having many political parties increases political awareness, as many citizens get to interact with different parties, get acquainted to many manifestos and have expanded choices. Sadly for those with a sense of entitlement that they own voters, they will lament the splitting of the votes. It is very myopic to think that human beings permanently support one political party, people ordinarily go with a party that seem to be best serving their interests. In addition, even political party leaders themselves are fluid as they bed hop from one party to the other which best serve their interests. The entitlement notion must be debunked.

The most unfortunate thing is that ZANU PF maybe the outright winner, if things continue as they are, the opposition is disjointed and fighting itself instead of addressing the problems they are facing. Unless the opposition forms an inclusive coalition. ZANU PF stands a chance to romp to victory due to the simple fact that seemingly they have resources, control ideological institutions and stranglehold on repressive state apparatus. I am naysayer, people must forget about prospects for a Government of National Unity, ZANU PF will consolidate its power after elections and opposition parties will go to the oblivion.

My message to the voters in the next election is that they must vote with their conscience, the country need to move away from politics of populism and focus on looking at the caliber of the leader. Populism has led us to vote thieves and power mongers into positions. Especially at local government level lets vote for people who connect with norms and values of the local community, grounded on aspirations of the local communities than opportunists eyeing to line their pockets when they ascend into offices.  Populism have seen councilors bleeding local authorities especially in Bulawayo. Dozens of councilors have been investigated and found guilty of allegedly looting council resources.  Local communities i.e. residents, vendors must stand firm in the next elections and ensure issue representation at local level, kick out all councilors bent on looting council resources.