BULAWAYO residents and political analysts have expressed outrage over Zanu PF’s June 10 by-election campaign flyers begging the electorate to vote for its candidates for the city to “be part of Zimbabwe”.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
Residents said this only served to engender hostility and escalate calls for secession from Zimbabwe by radical groups.
South African-based Zimbabwe media scholar, Trust Matsilele, said Zanu PF campaign material messages were ‘senseless and reckless’.
“This is senseless and reckless. If you don’t vote for Zanu PF you are excluded from being part of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“So what’s the status of every district council, constituency under MDC-T, are they not part of Zimbabwe?
“By saying this Zanu PF has confirmed itself as a patronage-based system where those who vote otherwise are penalised through exclusion from whatever meagre resources the country still has,” he said.
Matsilele said he would not “recommend even Bona (Mugabe-Chikore) to vote for Zanu PF.”
“Zanu PF has no ideas of moving the country forward, we have seen this over the past two decades, they are interested in looting State resources and filling up their pockets at the expense of the poor,” he said.
Former Bulawayo deputy mayor, Angilacala Ndlovu said the campaign material revealed ‘Zanu PF’s deeper thoughts and strategy about the city”.
“This goes to show Zanu PF strategy and policy about the city,” he said.
“The collapse of industries in the city is a broader Zanu PF strategy and it was in the forefront of encouraging companies to relocate under the pretext of water shortages,” Ndlovu added.
“Zanu PF is advancing a segregationist policy, which only serves to fuel calls for a separate state,” he added.
Fortune Mlalazi said the fliers were a revealing admission by the ruling party that the collapse of Bulawayo was a deliberate punishment by the government.
“We now know that Zanu PF was rejoicing when industries collapsed in the city giving rise to high unemployment,” he said.
“The campaign messages show that government does not care about Bulawayo which is the second largest city. Are the residents not paying taxes to government?”
Zanu PF has gone for the jugular ahead of by-elections boycotted by the MDCs, distributing flyers indicating that Bulawayo has not developed because it “is the only province that is outside the government and Zanu PF”.
The flyers have angered the electorate, the majority of who are part of thousands that have been thrown out of employment as de-industrialisation in Bulawayo, once the industrial hub of Zimbabwe, continues with no end in sight.