People should register to vote

BY NOW, it is stale news that President Robert Mugabe recycled his Cabinet and appointed, rather curiously, the dubious Ignatius Chombo to the vital Finance ministry.

It is a pathetic attempt at cosmetic surgery to say the least and by putting some lipstick on a frog the appearance will certainly change but not the croaking and ugliness, it remains a frog.

The same applies to Mugabe’s Cabinet that was announced on Monday, a high-sounding nothing that is more political and aimed at dealing with Zanu PF succession wars than with the economic decay that has resulted in an increase in prices and brought back the haunting nightmares of 2008 when inflation reached trillions and earning a salary was rendered meaningless.
While the general population cannot have any input on Mugabe’s Cabinet reshuffle as it is his prerogative as the head of State, the public should take its few chances seriously.

But amid discussions on the appropriateness of the Cabinet changes, there is an ongoing voter registration blitz that provides the country’s citizens a rare opportunity to influence how they are ruled and who rules them.

Zimbabwe goes for elections next year and while flooding social media with jokes and memes about Mugabe’s practical jokes and controversial rule could be humorous, it is incumbent upon all Zimbabweans above 18 years to go and register to vote so as to determine their destinies and stop whining about things they cannot really change.

Zimbabweans should grab this chance and ensure they register to vote for Christmas comes but once a year and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is providing platforms for people to not only register to vote but also obtain birth certificates and national identity documents for those who don’t have.

Democracy is not only an expensive process but it also entails active participation of the people governed when they elect their preferred candidates to office who should ultimately deliver on the promises they would have made.

Indeed, the citizens have the power to vote in or vote out those they feel are good or bad and that process starts with registering to vote.

Unfortunately, the voter registration turnout has been very low and this is worrying because it shows apathy among the citizens notwithstanding several attempts by Zec and civil rights organisations to encourage participation.

While Zec is certainly not free of blemishes, the onus is on the people to be politically active and participate in national processes so as to ensure that ultimately, whichever government is elected to power will have people at heart and not this kindergarten play that insults our intelligence by appointing controversial people to key ministerial posts.

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