De-harmonise local government elections – Residents speak

Residents in Bulawayo and various cities have called for de-harmonising local government elections to improve attention paid to council candidates in local government elections. This came at a stakeholder meeting organized by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and Women Institute Leadership Development (WILD) to share findings for the Local Government Elections Survey Report – The Uncertainty of 2018  done last year from August – October 2017 with a sample of 3640 respondents.

Lead Researcher Dr Davison Muchadenyika said the study observed that the timing of local government elections should not coincide with presidential and parliamentary elections as it does not raise the profile of local government elections and that it does not increase political competition during council elections.

Interviewed on the side-lines of the meeting Honourable Malaba MP Phumula Constituency also ZANU PF parliamentary candidate who was also present at the meeting said “It is an important recommendation for an election, when elections are separated people will opt for quality than in harmonised elections where people opt for partisan arrangement”  “It is a very sound recommendation, legislators must take it into account and perhaps raise a motion parliament, he added.   He said that he will foster a sense of serious consideration and definitely put it as his party agenda and that there is however still need for wider consultation.

MDC Alliance local government council candidate for Ward 9 Mr Mabutho Donaldson concurred with MP Malaba and said “De-harmonisation gives people an opportunity to choose candidates based on their strengths, because during harmonised elections people are told to vote for a party name, but de-harmonisation helps to look for strengths, capacity of every individual” He pointed that harmonised elections confuse the electorate and makes people just to vote without knowing the candidates abilities.

Asked to comment on the de-harmonisation recommendation from the researchers at the same meeting Mr Fortune Mlalazi People’s Rainbow Coalition Candidate  for Magwegwe Constituency said “We definitely need to de-harmonise so that there is more concentration on local government business, this will allow us to choose quality candidates because we will be more focused and give more attention to local development” He said in South African for example there are separate elections between national and local government elections.

The study also revealed that 60% of the respondents of local government election survey prefer mayors with executive powers and 52.4% prefer councillors to work full time at the council.  The study also recommended that CSO must play a critical role to organise debate sessions for council candidates, publish and disseminate credentials of candidates, provide the electorate with simplified checklists of issues to look for in parties and candidates  an election campaign and manifestos.

The survey was conducted by the ‘We Pay You Deliver’ (WPYD)  Civil Society Consortium focusing on harnessing citizen demand for improved service delivery & transparent use of public resources. The Consortium was comprised of Danish Church Aid, Combined Harare Residents Association, Harare Residents Trust  , Habakkuk Trust,  ZWRCN, Diakonia and the two organizations that hosted the meeting.  Project target areas were Harare Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo & Umzingwane.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks

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Residents castigate candidate imposition in Bulawayo

Bulawayo residents have castigated some political parties for imposing candidates for local government elections scheduled for 30 July 2018. Participants at a meeting organized by BPRA and WILD to share the findings of the Local Government Elections Survey – The Uncertainty of 2018 carried out between and October 2017.

Speaking on the side-lines of the meeting Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Chairperson Mr Reason Ngwenya said the move taken by political parties is not unacceptable, all the candidates must come from the people, not from the parties. He said “Democracy is about people and people must choose their own candidates” “Parties that imposed candidates are likely to lose those council seats” He warned.

To guard against candidate imposition,  the study urged political parties to evaluate the credentials of council candidates during primary elections and that parties must have a criteria for candidates which is competence and integrity based.   The research rated the performance of sitting councillors as poor by 44.7%.

Media houses have reported that conflicts that have erupted in various political parties after allegedly imposition of some council elections candidates in some wards. To demonstrate the height of the fissures on candidate imposition, when the MDC Alliance presidential candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa took to micro blogging platform- Twitter to complain about the allegedly refusal by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the voters roll to MDC Alliance, Mr Lion oh Judah who is believed to the son of Mr Felix Magalela Sibanda MDC T Chamisa party spokesperson replied and said “ Magwegwe folk begged for primary elections and you denied them. We have asked for sanctions against ZANU PF if they do not elections. I will be meeting @SenBooker over the selling of 210 congressional seats to personal friends of yours. Criminal. You are corrupt.”

On the 18th of June 2018, Mr Mbuso Siso who has been deputy national information and publicity secretary confirmed on a Facebook post that the Professor Welshman Ncube led MDC has dismissed him  for allegedly blocking imposition of Mr Nkanyiso Brezhnev Mathonsi to be a candidate for ward 2 Bulawayo Central seat. He accused Professor for his dictatorial behaviour and likened him to Mugabe regime that attempted to create a dynasty by imposing his wife.

The study further recommended that parties must prioritise council elections by fielding candidates with a traceable record of public service commitment than those preferred by those higher echelons of political parties.

By Michael Ndiweni

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks

Sympathy Vote favours Dr Khuphe in Zimbabwe 2018 polls

 

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The Zimbabwean forthcoming elections slated for the 30th of July 2018 presents presidential candidates with different prospects, one of the key issues that politicians, key board political warriors aka Social Media activists and political pundits ignore is the Sympathy Vote.

A Sympathy Vote entails an occasion when a lot of people vote for or support a particular person because he or she has suffered recently on her/his struggles with abuse.

For example a tragic death of a political candidate in the midst of a campaign. The concept of the Sympathy Vote suggests that media coverage of the tragedy and the unification of public opinion carry the party of the deceased to victory on Election Day. Thus the MDC T party stood a better chance to benefit from a Sympathy Vote after the demise of its founding leader Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai before its fights escalated leading to Dr Thokozani Khuphe holding her extra ordinary  congress after the MDC T National Executive Council controversially endorsed Advocate Nelson Chamisa to be the interim president until congress.

It is also important to point that in this concept that the emotional dynamics of public opinion may not be so simple and binary but complex. Researchers have argued that the relationship between emotion and candidate support hinges largely on behavioural expectations of those that remain entrusted with the duty to fulfil the mandate and also how the media covers all the processes that ensures after the death of the candidate.

In light of the ugly scenes witnessed in Buhera during the burial of Morgan Tsvangirai where the MDC T Vanguard militia harassed Dr Khuphe and nearly set the hut that she and other officials have taken refuge in set in motion negative coverage by the media. Thus according to the Sympathy Vote concept if messages violate expectations, media will focus on controversy leading to a dissipation of the sympathy effect in public opinion.

One can therefore deduce that for now the Sympathy Vote flies in the face of MDC T faction led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa who now heads MDC Alliance and has eluded them because sustained coverage of ugly scenes and debauchery witnessed also in Bulawayo and continuous reports of imposition of candidates, threats of shootings and fights within rank and file of the faction. As bitter as it is to swallow for now the biggest beneficiary of the Sympathy Vote is the faction led by Dr Khuphe whom the media has largely pointed to be the victim of the MDC T internal fights, her cause has been further strengthened by sexism undertones that the public has deducted from utterances made by her erstwhile compatriot Advocate Nelson Chamisa in some platforms here and abroad.

Observers must not also ignore the fact that the ZANU PF candidate stands to benefit from the Sympathy Vote, one as a victim of former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe political shenanigans, secondly as he appears to be “messiah: who served Zimbabweans from facing 39 years of Mugabe’s rule albeit being propped by the military to ascend to presidency in November 2017. The disappearance of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the highways who seemingly thrived on milking Zimbabweans their hard earned money, semblance of new found freedoms such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and aura of hope that has been restored post military assisted transition, opening of operating space for Civil Society to carry its functions within communities seem to tilt the Sympathy Vote also to ZANU PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa. Sadly the populace seem to forget that the ZANU PF candidate is accused of being the hand that implemented Gukurahundi Genocide under the instruction of former president Robert Mugabe that left over 20000 people dead according to conservative estimates from CCJP.  MDC Alliance candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa is the biggest loser of the Sympathy Vote due his seemingly reckless statements, coupled with accusations of peddling lies in his addresses.

The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) also stands to benefit from Sympathy Vote from Matabeleland region, their determined campaign to demand closure on Gukurahundi, their sustained media messages on economic exclusion of the people from Matabeleland is a shot in the arm for them to get the Sympathy Vote. Protests against President Emmerson  Mnangagwa at Zimbabwe International  Trade Fair  (ZITF) and the subsequent arrests of their 8 activists,  protests at the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) outreach meetings also presents them with an opportunity to get the Sympathy Vote

Lastly, it can be concluded that the biggest beneficiary of the Sympathy Vote in the opposition will be MDC T faction led by Dr Thokozani Khuphe assuming the courts rule in her favour, if not that vote will certainly go to Dr Nkosana Moyo, who could spring a surprise on middle class vote and assimilate the Sympathy Vote. Emmerson Mnangagwa shall also benefit from the Sympathy Vote based of his perceived role to have untangled Zimbabweans from Robert Mugabe’s bondage. More investigations must be done to get an elaborate picture on Sympathy Vote, its nexus with public opinion created by the media.

Twitter: @mdladlaspeaks

Email: mikejnrsind82@gmail.com

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Missed black community at HIFA

I was at HIFA yesterday. I learnt that the festival has predominately white community. It was very poorly attended. I could see more volunteers in red shirts than visitors. I also observed that the event is well funded looking at equipment and infrastructure. I tried to imagine if that investment was put on Intwasa. We could fill up Centenary Park. Econet, Standard Newspaper, Delta were some of the sponsors. Have they poured seemingly so much money in activities in Bulawayo or other Southern region festivities

Funeral coupists are out of line cant go unchallenged

Does insulting Khuphe helps one win an election. I am dumb founded. These funeral coupists must get a life mani! Now worse than military coupists.
These funeral coupists are sending barrage of insults and targeting Khuphe everywhere. They are now worse than Zanu pf.

These funeral coupists are busy blocking Khuphe in supposedly international gatherings are now worse than Zanu pf.

These funeral coupists are busy making unfounded claims that Khuphe is a “hule” just because is a woman whilst they parrot being democratic and anchored on defending human rights.
These funeral coupists now need some of us who are seating on the fence to come down and defend Khuphe for we are social activists. We stand up when other people rights are violated and attacked, demeaned because of their different political choice.

These funeral coupists have resident Facebook and Twitter trolls bent on posting barrages of insults and some unprintable words.
These funeral coupists must know that their behaviour is what we have been fighting over the years being perpetuated by Zanu pf, now Zanu pf seem to be shelling hate speech, violence, its now them adopting the same culture, I am trying to imagine if they had state apparatus on thier side. Some of us will be exiled within 24 hours.

Very disappointed !!! If they cant respect the dead then of course must be called Funeral Coupists. Asazi bazasithini thina esiphilayo

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.

#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.