CFT party to push for proportional representation in Zim national elections

The Congress for Transformation (CFT) party says it will this year campaign for a review of Zimbabwe’s election laws in order to replace the current first-past-the-post-system with a full proportional representation system.

Proportional representation is an electoral system that aims to create a representative body that reflects the overall distribution of public support for each political party, which is why CFT claims this system of governance will represent the full diversity of opinions and how Zimbabwe should be governed.

According to CFT, which was formed in November last year, a ‘fully’ proportional representation system will make sure every Zimbabwean has a voice and is listened to.

The first-past-the-post voting system, in which voters cast a single vote for a single candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins the election, is currently dominant in Zimbabwe, with the country only using the Proportional Representation system when electing members of the Senate, National Assembly Women’s Party List, National Assembly Youth Party List, Provincial and Metropolitan Council Party List, and Local Authority Party List.

In a New Year’s Message, CFT president, Masonganyoka Godknows Sibanda, said 2023 will be remembered as the year that Zimbabweans missed an opportunity to remove the “oppressive” Zanu PF administration.

“The year 2023 goes down in history as the year we as a collective had an opportunity to free ourselves from the tentacles of an oppressive and violent system, a regime that has been advantaged by this violence.  It is unfortunate that the electoral choices we made on 23 to 24 August point to a missed opportunity to build a united and peaceful nation out of the country called Zimbabwe,” Sibanda said.

It is for this reason that Sibanda stated CFT will this year draw the attention of Zimbabweans to relook at the laws governing elections, as the importance of a process that creates government cannot be overly emphasized. 

“As a party, we suggest the introduction and adoption of the fully proportional representation system of election to replace the current first past the post system. This is in line with our call to fully democratise Zimbabwe, where every voice will be heard, including the most minority ones,” said the CFT leader.

Sibanda said a fully proportional system that was adopted in countries like South Africa was the correct definition of democracy.

“This is unlike the majoritarian winner, takes all, which is a lie that we have been sold by the pretenders in government and their opposition stooges since 1999,” said the CFT leader.

Sibanda added that 2023 was another difficult year for the people of Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in general. 

“Our beloved country continues to endure economic hardships, state sponsored corruption, political violence against dissent, a disputed election that was preceded by incidences of electoral violence,” he said, adding that the trend of violence continues in Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

“This violence dates back to the pre-liberation era, right through our struggle years, the independence era to the present day. There are recorded losses to this kind of barbarism, while there are also politically motivated imprisonment of the likes of Job Sikhala and others that shows the tendency to persecute political opponents using state apparatus.”

Persecuting political opponents was not a new practice, according to the CFT leader, stating Zanu PF did it and got away with it during Gukurahundi against ZAPU in the 1980s, Murambatsvina in the 2000s, and repeated bouts of electoral violence at every poll turn.

“Congress for Transformation sadly noted the adoption of violence and sheer disregard of the plight of the suffering masses within opposition ranks in the year 2023, as pretenders in the opposition spaces showed their true colors of greed, dictatorship as well as nepotism. This clearly is the greatest betrayal of the trusting populations whose hope is in authentic change of guard and policies. A cardinal sin,” he said.

Sibanda said CFT also called on the government of Zimbabwe to address the reason why the developed world imposed “targeted” sanctions on the country, as the sanctions have closed most sources of revenue for the fiscus.

“This has led the government to burden the poor populace, with record setting unemployment figures with draconian taxes. The population is the only source of revenue and the uncaring government is not ashamed to milk the poor Zimbabwean dry,” he said.

“Economic opportunities should be opened for all who are capable regardless of political inclination. Mining and Energy industries are cases in point, where Congress for Transformation notes, sadly, the exclusion of would be participants solely for political reasons.”

Sibanda concluded by congratulating all who had made it through 2023 and also embracing 2024. 

“As we celebrate this milestone together, let us preserve life and health. Let us continue to love one another. Avoid drinking and driving as well as unsafe health practices, bearing in mind that our country and continent needs us alive as we embark on our revolutionary relay, our total freedom and economic emancipation as led by the Congress for Transformation.”

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