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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Respect the urban vote, Mr President
    Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
    August 26, 2013

    President Robert Mugabe during the burial of former liberation fighter Mike Karakadzai. The President threatened Harare and Bulawayo residents with unspecified action for investing their vote in Dr Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe. In Harare, MDC got many seats whilst Zanu-PF only got 3 parliamentary seats whereas in Bulawayo, Zanu-PF got nothing completely. The Association, being a representative of urban residents in Harare, would like to describe the statement as sad, intolerant and inciting. We know that in politics there can never be a scenario where everyone could share the same political opinion hence we have to be tolerant of divergent and dissenting voices which only serve to prove that we are a heterogeneous society.

    For threatening to boycott assisting residents of Harare and Bulawayo with efficient and effective water provision, Mugabe is shooting himself and his government in the foot. We will not hesitate to boycott our engagement with his Zanu-PF government which is wholly reliant on the tax payer’s money. Harare and Bulawayo are the engines of the national economy respectively, so by boycotting their service, he is not punishing the residents of both cities, but the shock will be felt in Binga or Mberengwa.

    It should be made categorically clear that the President’s threats are being taken seriously as they are a manifestation of what is currently happening on the ground. We are experiencing erratic water and electricity supply since the July 31 election and we now strongly believe that this is a method of punishing residents for voting for other individuals outside the Zanu-PF confines. It should be put clear that Zanu-PF has no monopoly over the people and they should be alive to this notion if ever they want to engage effectively with those they lead.

    CHRA will not beg the newly elected government to give residents water, but will vigorously make it clear that water is our inalienable right and that by supplying us with water; the government is not doing us a favour, but is simply fulfilling its obligation as enshrined in the constitution. We will not stop to demand our right to water just because Zanu-PF lost seats in Harare and Bulawayo. Water is our right and we will do everything legal in our capacity to make sure that we get it in adequate quantities.

    Going forward, we would like to urge the President to retract his unfortunate statement and walk his talk of peace and reconciliation. You cannot indicate right then turn left hence it’s imperative for President Mugabe to walk his own talk.

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