BULAWAYO – The Bulawayo community has blamed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for the renewal of Zimbabwe sanctions by the United State of America (USA).
United States (US) President Donald Trump last week signed into law sanctions against Zimbabwe, after Mnangagwa’s government failed to fully embrace US’s electoral reform demands as outlined by that country’s Bill.
When Mnangagwa rose to power last November through a military-backed soft coup, many people’s hopes were raised, especially on economic revival.
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said it was evident that the economy was going to suffer from the effects of the sanctions but was quick to blame Mnangagwa’s government for the resultant situation.
“It’s a worrying development as it will have consequences on us,” Nkomo said.
“It is as a result of irresponsible actions by the junta. Talk of the shooting of innocent people and crackdown on opponents. While we must take collective responsibility for failing to move forward but the buck stops with the regime,” he said.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said the government must take responsibility for the unfortunate sanction renewal against Zimbabwe.
“The military government in Zimbabwe must stop whining about sanctions and be responsible for their actions,” Maphosa said.
“They deserve it especially looking at their record of rights violations since the November coup. They must simply reform and observe human rights for them to gain moral ground to complain about sanctions, which are actually meant to whip them into line.”
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) executive director Michael Ndiweni said the move spelt doom to the vending community.
“It’s a very sad development particularly for informal traders and vendors who are in trade for subsistence, we were hoping that jobs will be available someday,” Ndiweni said.
“It effectively means no investment will come to Bulawayo to re-open the industries. It spells doom for many people who are surviving on hand to mouth through trading.”
Ndiweni further noted that potential investors will be influenced by the US not to invest in the country.
“For me those who called them committed a crime against humanity. I believe there are better ways to resolve our problems than calling for deadly sanctions,” he said.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bupra) coordinator Roderick Fayayo said Bulawayo was desperately in need of investment.
“Right now Bulawayo needs investors for its industries to re-open. I am not sure if they are going to come with these sanctions.
“Also remember that the dilapidation of Bulawayo industries is a direct result of the sanctions imposed on the people of Bulawayo since 1980.
“When other areas where being built and developed, Bulawayo was being destroyed. So, before we talk about the sanctions imposed by other countries the Zimbabwean government must first remove the sanctions it put on Matabeleland first,” Fayayo said.
Zapu slams Mnangagwa
BULAWAYO – The Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu says Zimbabwe has experienced the worst under the leadership of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said since Mnangagwa took over the presidency he has proved not any better than his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
“In terms of competence, Zimbabwe has so far experienced the worst under Mnangagwa. All we hear are signings of major deals with the international community without appraisal on when the deals were negotiated and who negotiated on what strength.”
Maphosa also cited the recent involvement of the army in quelling protests which resulted in several deaths of innocent people.
“The lapse in command of the national security forces is worrying. On August 1, 2018 the national army elements shot and killed six protesters in Harare and Mnangagwa has come out openly to deny having given or knowing who gave the instruction.
“This shows he is both not competent to marshal our security forces and not fit to remain commander-in-chief of ZDF,” he said.
The Zapu spokesperson said while Mugabe was known for brutality and dictatorship, Mnangagwa was clearly angling to surpass him.
“Talk of brutality. The willingness to overtly spill blood in order to remain in office as happened on 1 August points to the levels of brutality in a man. This is worse than the previous face of the Zimbabwean dictatorial and military system, Mugabe.”
He said to make matters worse Mnangagwa has been all rhetoric talking about economic revival yet power retention was at the core of his heart.
“The economy has not been spared of the incompetence. It is worse than before the coup with cash shortages worsening by day.
“In terms of development, Mnangagwa has disappointed as he has concentrated on power retention ahead of pushing the development agenda.
“All we heard was a Zimbabwe open to business mantra which was just rhetoric to raise false hope among the electorate,” Maphosa said.
Search for Byo mayor intensifies
BULAWAYO – As the search for a new mayor for Bulawayo intensifies, stakeholders in the second largest city have shared their expectations on the qualities they are looking into.
Since year 2000, the city council has been dominated by opposition councillors and mayors with the just-ended elections also ensuring that the opposition maintains its dominance in the running of the city affairs.
However, unlike in the past years, the issue of who has to be appointed the mayor has never been this contested, with tribal sentiments also popping up during the debate.
This comes at a time the MDC Alliance recently summoned to Harare its councillors who applied for the mayoral and deputy post.
Former mayor Alderman Martin Moyo, who contested as an independent candidate in the just-ended plebiscite lost while ex-deputy mayor Gift Banda is now the Njube-Lobengula legislator elect.
Five councillors are reportedly gunning for the top position and these include Samuel Mnguni, Silas Chigora, Ernest Rafomoyo, Clayton Zana and Norman Hlabani.
With Mlandu Ncube Rodney Jele, Tinashe Kambarami, Felix Mhaka and Lilian Mlilo battling out for the deputy mayor position.
While there is debate over the interference of the party in the election process, the Urban Council’s Act says the mayor and his deputy are elected on the council’s first meeting which will be presided over by the provincial administrator.
Stakeholders canvassed by Southern News revealed a unanimous agreement on the quality of a leader needed to bring the second largest city to stability.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bupra) coordinator Roderick Fayayo said: “The city needs a mayor who is upright. A mayor who knows that he is taking the seat that was once held by Ndabeni Ncube and Malinga among others.
“So we need someone who will be able to call other councillors to order when there is a need to. We need a mayor who will push for transparency in all council deals and above all a mayor who will constantly update the residents of Bulawayo on what is happening in their city.”
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association executive director Michael Ndiweni said they need a leader who has the informal traders at heart.
“I think a mayor should be someone who understands daily struggles of informal traders and vendors.
“It is primarily about stewardship, ensuring good policy direction towards good service delivery, a person who has an understanding of the values and ethos of the city of Bulawayo,” Ndiweni said.
He said since mayoral position is a ceremonial position it means it also embodies the rich history of Bulawayo.
“It should be a person who undoubtedly connects with the historical symbolism of the position of mayor.
“Sadly though harmonised elections made people not to look at quality and calibre of the candidates but merely the party jacket they are putting on.
“I think we need to de-harmonise elections in order to give prominence to local government elections like South Africa,” he said.
Political analysts Dumisani Nkomo said there is need for a mayor who has vision and a track record of leadership to be elected.
“The city needs a man or woman who can provide proactive leadership and direction. A mayor who is able to link the city with other municipalities in the globe,” Nkomo said.
He said the incoming mayor should be a figure that unites the city across political, racial and ethnic divides.
“But above all he must have exposure to international development trends, good networking skills with various public, corporate sector, civil society, churches among others.”
Some of the best mayors Bulawayo has ever had in the past include, Abel Siwela, Nick Mabodoko, Enos Mdlongwa and Japhet Ndabeni Ncube.
Youths hailed for voting in numbers
BULAWAYO – Activista Zimbabwe, a youth-based organisation has paid tribute to thousands of youths across the country who came out to cast their vote in the just-ended plebiscite.
The country’s urban areas recorded a high number of first time youth voters unlike in the past where adults dominated the voting process.
Activista Zimbabwe was one of the organisations in the country which carried out an extensive campaign encouraging youths to go register to vote.
“In light of the recent 2018 stage of the electoral cycle, Activista Zimbabwe is applauding millions of young people across Zimbabwe who came out to participate in the 2018 electoral process,” the organisation’s national coordinator Thando Gwiji said.
“Kudos to all who stood up to go and vote, yours is a contribution to one of the important tenets of democracy, a value which we uphold as a movement.”
Gwiji said meaningful and progressive participation was witnessed as youth mobilised and supported each other to register to vote across the country.
“Through the blitz phases, inspection of the voters’ roll, nomination, voter education, campaigning and monitoring elections; young people held the reigns in hopes for a better Zimbabwe,” she said.
Gwiji further noted that the just-ended election placed an important mark in the history of elections as it was the first in as many years where youth took part in deciding who governs this country.
She, however, said it was a crucial learning phase for the youth who are the future leaders.
“Through victories and disappointments, quite a number of lessons have been engraved in our hearts and mind-sets. As key stakeholders of change, youth across the country need to take note of these lessons and work on them for our growth and the growth of our dear nation.”