A civil society leader has said in future elections Zimbabweans should vote people into public office based on their track record and not what they promise.
Briggs Bomba, of the Citizens manifesto, an organisation that advocates for good governance and social accountability, was addressing Bulawayo residents during a policy dialogue forum in the city yesterday.
The topic for discussion was: “Placing citizens at the centre of governance and politics in Zimbabwe.”
“There is a problem in how we elect our leaders in Zimbabwe,” said Bomba.
“We are voting people on the basis of promise and not record and as a result we have had a protracted economical and political crisis.”
He said the way Zimbabweans vote, mainly driven by motives of political parties, has led to the elevation of undeserving people to positions of power and authority.
Bomba said that has to change if Zimbabwe is to develop and come out of the current leadership crisis.
He said it was sad that people get promised many things towards elections which are never implemented.
“We have to occupy the centre of governance and politics in Zimbabwe,” said Sibanengi Ncube, one of the participants.
“The issue of political parties telling us who to vote for will end. Nobody is going to grant the rights; if we do not claim the rights no one is going to grant the rights to us.”
Another participant, Thabo Hadebe, said Zimbabweans should be empowered to both elect and recall leaders.
“South Africa has recalled two presidents before they finished their term of office, but here it is impossible. The problem in Zimbabwe lies with us,” said Hadebe.
He said the culture of having presidents who literally own the political parties, dictating to citizens who should be voted to office, must come to an end.
Belinda Ncube, another participant urged residents to unite in their areas and collectively hold office bears to account.