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Residents' Voices - Issue 38
Residents Association (BPRA)
December 13, 2010
face bleak festive holidays
have raised concerns that they will have a bleak Christmas holiday
due to the prevailing high unemployment and poor remuneration of
civil servants that make up the bulk of residents. Residents said
that while conditions were better than they were in 2008 before
the inception of the inclusive government, little progress has been
made in terms of remuneration and availability of employment opportunities.
They added that while other areas in the country were developing,
companies in Bulawayo were scaling down or relocating altogether,
leaving residents of Bulawayo with bleak job prospects. While Christmas,
the world over, is a time for giving and sharing, partying and feasting,
residents said this would not be possible as people simply do not
have the means to host parties, cater for feasts and purchase gifts
for their loved ones. They called on the inclusive government to
take more steps towards creating job opportunities in Bulawayo and
providing more loans for unemployed youths to start co-operatives
and other money generating ventures.
blast passport office
at the passport office has deteriorated further as endemic corruption
at the public offices has scaled up. Bulawayo residents have complained
that while passport fees were reduced to $50 a few months ago, the
reality on the ground is that they are now more expensive to acquire.
Residents said corruption in the offices was making it very expensive
to acquire the documents. They said employees at the offices were
taking advantage of the huge demand for passports to demand bribes
from desperate residents. What has made things worse is that not
only do residents have to bribe the workers to make their passport
applications; they now also have to bribe them to skip the waiting
list, and also to get a worker to locate the passport when it has
eventually come out. Residents said this was a violation of the
right to own a passport and demanded that the office of the registrar
general urgently look into the issue. They proposed that investigations
should be implemented and all workers found to be guilty of corruption
dealt with accordingly.
views on elections
raised concerns that the plebiscite that could take place next year
is ill-timed as Zimbabweans are not ready to vote but are more concerned
about economic emancipation. They said that while the three parties
in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) were not working as a unit, there
was need for the current dispensation to continue until more gains
were made, especially on the economic front. Residents also highlighted
that there was need for more electoral reforms to take place before
any elections are held. They raised concern that if elections are
held next year, there could be violence
similar to or even worse than that of 2008. They also said they
fear that any election would lead to results that do not reflect
the true wishes of the people of Zimbabwe as the elections are likely
to be characterized by apathy. It has also been highlighted that
the incumbent government should concentrate on developmental issues
and economic recovery instead of focusing on elections.
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