Vote for deserving candidates, residents urged

Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
Masvingo Residents Trust has urged residents in the town to take advantage of July 30 harmonised elections and elect councillors with the capacity to represent them effectively.

The trust’s coordinator Mr Prosper Tiringindi yesterday said most councillors were elected along political lines and not on merit.

“As we are approaching the harmonised elections slated for July 30, I challenge our residents to elect councillors who are knowledgeable when it comes to local governance issues,” said Mr Tiringindi.

He said in most cases, the electorate would vote for candidates along political lines, a situation he said was partly to blame for poor service delivery in the country’s towns and cities.

Masvingo United Ratepayers and Residents Association spokesperson Mr Godfrey Mutimba also echoed the same sentiments, saying it was high time the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) sets a minimum academic bar as a precondition for one to be elected councillor.

He said the move will see the election of councillors who are able to interpret key statutes pertaining to local governance issues.

“It is imperative for the electorate to consider one’s ability to lead ahead of his or her political affiliation. In my view, ZEC should make it mandatory for one to have attained a certain level of education, say Form 4, to be voted as a councillor,” said Mr Mutimba.

Prominent city lawyer Ms Lucy Chivasa said while the Constitution had no provisions on qualifications needed for one to assume political office, it could be necessary for the inclusion of such requirements, as part of the country’s supreme law.

“Presently, our Constitution only says one should be a citizen of Zimbabwe, have attained a particular age in order to vie for political office. The issue of qualification has been raised in a number of forums and I do not think it is a bad idea if our Constitution includes that through an amendment,” said Ms Chivasa.

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