Elections: CCC to provide transport to rural voters
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it will resort to bussing its supporters in rural areas to polling stations if they entertain any prospects of winning the elections.
The opposition often accuses Zanu PF of commandeering Zupco buses to ferry its supporters to rallies.
At the recently held Bulilima by-elections, CCC raised an alarm that the ruling party was bussing voters.
Giving an update on preparations for the Insiza and Matobo by-elections pencilled for 22 October during a Twitter Spaces discussion on Monday evening, one of the CCC campaign members, Discent Bajila, said the opposition had learnt that availing transport to ferry voters to respective polling stations was necessary.
“We will win wards depending on our ability to ferry supporters to go and vote. Zanu PF beat us in Bulilima Ward 14 because they were more able than us to ferry their people to go and vote,” he said.
“I was a polling agent in one of the polling stations in Bulilima Ward 14 and we ferried people to go vote twice, with two pick up vehicles. Zanu PF had similar twin cab vehicles and they offloaded seven times.”
In that polling station in Ward 14 where Zanu PF had carried voters seven times, while CCC did so two times, the ruling party had more votes.
“We as CCC managed to get 140 votes while Zanu PF had 196 votes. They beat us by 56 votes and we can see their efforts (to carry people) is one that made them win. You can imagine, if we ferried people not even seven times but five times, we would have received more votes. Zanu PF carried people five times more than us but beat us by only 56 votes. We could have done better if we had transport” Bajila said.
Bajila said another lesson learnt was CCC had more returns in places where they implemented its rural penetration programme, called umgwazo.
“Our ability to mirror umgwazo with our campaign shows it works. Where umgwazo has been done properly we are likely to win. We are happy that Ward 2 in Matobo and Ward 4 in Insiza, umgwazo has already passed in those places as we now have village champions and polling station point persons deployed in those wards already,” he stated.
“We are likely to win these places on the basis of the efficacy and efficiency of umgwazo.”
The other lesson was for CCC to deploy resources equitably, said the CCC member.
“We need to deploy our resources equitably and be able to see bigger polling stations get heavier support than smaller ones,” Bajila said.
Bulawayo East Member of Parliament, Ilos Nyoni, who was deployed to work in MAtobo concurred their prospects of obtaining rural votes depended on CCC’s ability to provide transport for villagers.
“Ward 16 in Bulilima had polling stations that were far from people’s homes so transport is very important,” he said.
“The issue of distance is very important as it prevents people from going to vote because polling stations will be far away on the day of voting. A lot of transport has to be available.”
“The effort of fundraising is very much appreciated in order to assist people with transport on voting.
Nyoni noted that it was still a concern that the demographics of voters were the elderly.
“Youth voters are very few and observed that they are not registered. So, in this coming by-election we will try by all means to encourage them to go and vote, especially the elderly. We will help them with transport and as MPs we will also help with fuel,” said the legislator.