By Tanaka Mrewa
As Zimbabwe’s harmonised election date draws closer, Emthonjeni Women’s Forum continues with its program to equip voters from rural areas with aspiring candidates’ manifestos.
The organisation is holding a “Meet the Candidate” program where they invite aspiring candidates to interface with the community who will be voting for them.
On Friday, the organisation engaged candidates running as councillors for Tsholotsho South Ward 11 Ngubomlilo community, to meet the people.
Sibhekaphi Nkomo a candidate for MDC Alliance and Solomon Nkomo chairperson for ZANU-PF Ward 11 Tsholotsho South who was standing in for Jonathan Ndlovu attended the program.
The two presented their manifestos alluding to the community problems such as lack of clinics, schools, water and employment opportunities for their local youths.
Plaxedes Moyo, Programs Officer for Emthonjeni Women’s Forum said the organisation realised the marginalisation of rural people, especially women when it comes to getting information on political issues.
“People in these areas have limited access to information. Some don’t even know who their candidates are as well as what their manifestos say. This exercise is beneficial to them as they get an opportunity to discuss their peculiarities directly with the candidates,” said Moyo.
CITE spoke to one of the residents of Ngubomlilo Mrs Thandekile Dube who expressed great sadness over the lack of self-sustaining opportunities for their children who would have been done with school.
“Our children end up migrating to South Africa and Botswana in search of greener pastures. We hope that after the elections our new councillor will avail vocational courses for them. Most of them drop out of school because of the distances they walk to and fro. In this community the closest secondary school is about 7km away,” she said.
She reiterated the need for health facilities within their community for they face challenges in acquiring health facilities as well as unavailability of medication in the few existing clinics.
Mr Cain Ncube appealed to the candidates to adhere to water shortage problems in their community when they get into power.
“We hope that the winning candidate will ensure that they sink boreholes for us. We don’t have water and our livestock suffer a lot. Availability of water will also enable us to start gardening projects and sustain ourselves,” said Ncube.