Business as usual in Gweru

GWERU — People in the Midlands capital, Gweru, continue with their usual business after the announcement of the presidential poll results last Saturday, with a mixture of indifference, hope and despair.

Stephen Chadenga

Residents who spoke to Southern Eye yesterday expressed divergent views, with some saying elections have never had any difference on their lives, while others said there was hope as the bloated Cabinet in the inclusive government was putting pressure on the fiscus.

Phillip Masviviriri of Mkoba 4 said he was more worried about school fees, food and the general living standards of his family than the outcome of the polls.

“It is their celebration, and I mean those who won,” the father of five said. “Those who lost will mourn and express anger. Winners have every reason to celebrate and losers to mourn because they know the benefits of being in power.

“But I still need to make sure my children have a better life, food on the table and that is what matters most.”

Margaret Moyo of Mtapa suburb, however, expressed optimism saying she looked forward to a better life.

“The bloated Cabinet in the inclusive government was putting pressure on the Budget,” she said.
“We hope for a small Cabinet that will concentrate on giving positive results rather than the previous one which wasted time concentrating on bickering.”

Solomon Kupfavira, a vendor at Kudzanai bus terminus, said he had little appreciation of how politicians could change the lives of ordinary people.

“My brother, what I know is selling tomatoes and cabbages,” he said.
“Whether (President Robert) Mugabe, (Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai, (MDC leader Welshman) Ncube or (Zapu leader Dumiso) Dabengwa could have won, I am not sure how they were going to change how I go about my life.”

But Edward Chiseko, a motor mechanic, said he could not understand how the “recycled” old people in the winning Zanu PF party say they would bring any different results to the country’s political and economic fortunes.

“If they were known for corruption since 1980 with the Willowgate and Grain Marketing Board among other scandals, how are they going to perform miracles now?

“We are back to where we started and the cycle continues. Worse now there is no voice to challenge their decisions,” he said.

Bridget Chinhava, of Athlone, summed up the indifference surrounding the harmonised polls, as “much ado about nothing”.

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