Source: Zimbos in SA flock to vote – Sunday News July 29, 2018
Mthabisi Tshuma in Johannesburg, South Africa
ZIMBABWEANS living in South Africa have praised the new political leadership led by President Mnangagwa for maintaining pre-election peace unlike in previous polls where incidents of violence and intimidation were reported.
Sunday News visited popular bus stations at Braamfontein and Park Station in Johannesburg on Friday where some of the Zimbabweans said they were on their way home to cast their vote in tomorrow’s harmonised elections. Mrs Chenai Kapeta who was heading to Chitungwiza said she is overwhelmed as she last voted in 2002 before she left for South Africa.
“I have been here in South Africa for over a decade and in the 2008 elections I hesitated to go and vote even for the runoff because of the violence. I feared for my life. This time around I went home to register to vote and I am going to vote on Monday. I want to be part of history. To vote in the first election without Mugabe, no, I cannot miss that,” she said.
Another Zimbabwean who was on his way to Hwange said from the reports he has been following, the country will hold a fair election as everyone was accorded the chance to campaign freely while observes from different countries and organisations were given the leeway to observe the elections.
“Observers from all over the world are on the ground and have not reported any foul play which shows consistency and respect for human kind by the Government but the opposition is still on the wrong page based on past experiences, a sign that they are not quite ready for change,” said the man who requested anonymity.
An MDC Alliance supporter Mr John Mlambo said the late opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai would have been happy to witness such an electoral environment.
“If Tsvangirai had lived to see this day where elections are to be conducted in a peaceful environment, he would be so happy after what he and other party members endured in 2008 under the hands of Mr Mugabe,” he said.
An official from a cross border bus transport said the number of passengers going to Zimbabwe has increased steadily over the past weeks.
“This hardly happens when there is no holiday for us to have full bookings, this is definitely a first of its kind, showing that Zimbabwe is now free from political violence and other incidents,” he said.
A cross border transporter commonly known as umalayitsha said the 2018 harmonised elections have become a boom to their business.
“My brother, judging from the fact that it’s July, it’s a first to have such demands with both passengers and luggage. Lena yiKhisimusi sibili, konke ngenxa yombuso omutsha okhona ngasezweni lethu (This is definitely an early Christmas for us all thanks to the new dispensation),” said Mr Bhekani Ndlovu popularly known as BK.