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Elections only after a clear roadmap - Hon. Biti
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
June 30, 2011

Zimbabwe can only hold free, fair and uncontested elections after the completion of a clear roadmap, the MDC Secretary General and Finance Minister, Hon Biti said yesterday.

Addressing hundreds of Kuwadzana residents in Harare at a monthly feedback meeting in the suburb last night, Hon. Biti said the roadmap would look into various issues that need to be sorted out before the country could hold any election that would not be in dispute.

Some issues to be looked into are the Electoral Amendment and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bills which will be debated in Parliament soon.

"On the current voters' roll, we have over six million registered voters when in reality we have about only two million genuine voters and the rest are ghost voters.

"You will find an area that is infested only with snakes and birds being recorded as having 45 000 registered voters while an urban area with thousands of people will only have 8 000 registered voters. Therefore, we need to clean up the voters' roll before we go for the next elections to avoid a repeat of what happened in the past," he said.

Hon. Biti added; "Voting in future will also not be as cumbersome as it was before. We will ensure that voters are able to register to vote and exercise their right. The police will not be involved in the voting process like before but they will only be there to provide protection and maintaining peace".

On the Human Rights Commission Bill, Hon. Biti said the Bill would look at how best the people's basic rights are respected in this country.

"We do not want a situation where one lives in fear when the day of elections is announced. The people's rights should be respected and unnecessary arrests would be a thing of the past. The rule of law should be in place and functioning," he said.

Hon. Biti said during its next sitting, Parliament would look into the Depositors' Protection Bill that will put in place laws that safeguard people's savings in the banks.

"We don't want a situation similar to 2009 when people's saving simply disappeared from the banks," he said to a wild applause from the residents.

He explained that the country was failing to increase the salaries of the civil servants because revenue collected in the country was very low and below the Ministry of Finance's target while most companies were operating below target with some closing down due to the unfavourable political and economic environment.

"The other challenge we are facing is that we have over 75 000 ghost workers on the payroll with some of the ghost workers getting five monthly pay slips in his or her name. This has to be looked into in order to improve the civil servants' salaries.

"Also, Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that are not getting loans to the Treasury from the international community because the international community view Zimbabwe as a country in a very volatile situation," Hon. Biti said, appealing for an end to Zanu PF state sponsored violence and unlawful arrests in order for Zimbabwe to join the family of nations.

Hon. Nelson Chamisa, the MDC National Organising Secretary and Kuwadzana MP told the residents that the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) would start soon. He said they had carried out wide consultations with the local leadership on how best the residents would benefit from the US$50 000 fund.

The councillor for the area, Urayayi Mangwiro castigated police constabularies for confiscating goods from vendors on a daily basis, a situation which was seriously affecting the livelihoods of most families.

He said the Harare City Council was working hard on improving service delivery and by the end of the year the council would have increased its fleet of refuse collection trucks to 45 from the current 26.

Councillor Mangwiro said the council was working on having Mazowe and Kunzvi dams supplying water to Harare as the city's population had increased to over 4 million residents in recent years and therefore Lake Chivero was failing to cope.

Present at the feedback meeting were; the councillor for Ward 38, in Kuwadzana, Wilton Jangadzi, church leaders and senior Kuwadzana district representatives from the MDC and Zanu PF.

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