Zimbabweans have urged parliament to take citizens’ views raised during public hearings seriously amid concerns that the information collected is not used due to political bickering in the legislative assembly.
This emerged during the recent countrywide public hearings on electoral reforms conducted by the parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs.
Jason Nyathi, from Gwanda accused law makers of sitting on people’s views, “We have had in the past, committees who come to solicit our views on different issues but we don’t see where that ends up. These politicians do not take us seriously; they just want to waste our time which is the reason why we sometimes don’t come for their public hearings.”
In Bulawayo, Mxolisi Moyo accused parliamentarians of conducting public hearings to pocket money from government coffers while enjoying time in hotels.
“There is nothing new in these public hearings, nothing will be done and nothing will change. We are tired of saying out our views and concerns only to be told a certain party has blocked the implementation process.
“All these parliamentarians want is to spend our hard earned money and have quality time in hotels. They are good for nothing, we can’t wait to chuck them out come 2018,” fumed Moyo.
Mutare residents urged parliamentarians to be more united in making sure that people’s views are respected.
“I have noticed that even the committee (Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs) is not united and they do not take each other seriously, how then can they take our views seriously when they are divided. That has to change,” said a Mutare resident.
Zimbabweans are skeptical on whether the recently conducted electoral reforms will bear any meaningful fruits as Zanu PF has thwarted any attempts to reform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Professor Jonathan Moyo is on record saying that Zanu PF will not reform itself out of power; a statement that proved electoral reforms may remain a pipe dream for the opposition parties who have in the past complained of massive electoral rigging by Zanu PF.
During the public hearings, Zimbabweans said ZEC must be demilitarized as well as allowing Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote. Others called for ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau to be replaced by a retired judge.