Tomorrow, Saturday the 26th of March 2022, Zimbabweans across the country will be voting in by elections in areas affected by death, recalls and expulsions of elected officials and Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) would like to urge its membership and indeed the entire country to freely exercise their democratic rights to choose candidates who can represent them and their interests.
In total there are 28 parliamentary and 105 local government vacancies to be filled in constituencies spread throughout the country and responsible active citizenship demands that all those registered in areas where these vacancies have arisen, exercise their constitutional rights to elect candidates that will be able to deliver on their developmental aspirations.
In case one would need further motivation to exercise their right, it will be worth recalling when last refuse collection was undertaken in their area, when last, they had running water and when last roads were repaired in their area?
As for most citizens where our constituency hails from, as confirmed by the country’s statistical body Zimstats that over 86 percent of people are plying their trade in the informal economy, it is time we make our numbers count and demand policy changes that enable us to freely pursue our right to work. We must vote for candidates who can speak to our lived realities of harassment, unpaid care work, lack of safe workspaces, lack of healthcare provisions and lack of social protection that sees informal economy players working well beyond their pensionable age, who can then ensure they push for comprehensive solutions to these and other ills affecting them.
It is trite to mention that we as an organisation fully subscribe to being non-partisan, but we do urge informal traders to look, analyse and scrutinise candidates irrespective of their political parties to then elect the best possible candidate to represent their needs.
We are heartened by statements from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that polling stations have already been setup and voters rolls displayed outside the venues, as well as that voters can double check to see where they are voting from. We continue to urge ZEC to ensure that the playing field is level and expediciously attend all queries from candidates and political parties
VISET would finally like to appeal to all stakeholders to fully embrace the spirit of tolerance and peace as well as understanding the principle that we are all Zimbabweans first before any affiliation to political parties and that is what binds us together.