Candidates participating in the forthcoming elections have been urged to stop selling people promises they will not respect after elections, as this has been a trend with previous elections.
Speaking to 263Chat, Zimbabwe Informal Economy Associations (ZCEIA) President, Lorraine Sibanda candidates for treating people like servants while they behave like chefs.
“For a longtime in Zimbabwe we have seen a political approach which says towards elections candidates go to the people, they tell them what they want, there’s never been conversation between the people and the candidates,
“It’s the candidates speaking and then moving on, they get into parliament ,local authority and come back after five years to campaign for the next elections. So seeing that people were not having their issues addressed we decided to have an interface with the candidates so that people can talk to them and know the kind of people that will represent them,
“Vendors have been criminalized and had their good confiscated had the chance to talk to the candidates who giving themselves up for the local authorities and parliament in line with what they are going to do for the informal traders,” explained Sibanda.
She added that they would like to see a change in the way vendors are treated as they are equally citizens and are the bulk of the electorate.
“The common thing from the candidates is that they have been used to addressing rallies, instead of having conversation they end up campaigning for their party and themselves. They really do not address the question that is posed to them and go out of topic or continue dishing out promises without giving substance to what they are talking about,
“People want to hear what one has come up with as an individual not a party like a personal five year plan, I urge the candidates to talk to the simplest of people, they are the electorate,” added Sibanda.
ZCIEA Secretary General, Wisborn Malaya said the purpose of Town Hall meetings was to allow their members an opportunity to engage with aspiring public office holders before they are elected.
“The purpose of the town hall meetings was to look at the candidates and hear if they qualify to represent the issues of informal workers,
“The participation of the members showed by the ZCIEA members and community proved that it was worth it, they really interrogated the candidates and asked questions which shows that people now know what they want,” Malaya.
ZCIEA has to date held five town hall meetings in Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru, Bulawayo and Harare with informal traders meeting candidates from various political parties contesting the July 30 local government, parliamentary and Presidential elections.