ASPIRING Ndebele king, Zwide Peter Khumalo, has urged the electoral in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces to vote for development-oriented candidates, claiming the regions had lagged behind in terms of development because of political leaders’ ineptitude.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Khumalo said some of the legislators were only after self-aggrandisement.
“Surely, as a people we should be able to know the difference between people that can do it and those that are looking for employment. The Members of Parliament should not be so by only attending meetings in Parliament, but they should be members of the people,” Khumalo said.
“The people of Matabeleland and Midlands are a concerned people as they feel the governance system has been very discriminating in development and empowerment issues. The peace-loving and accommodating people of this region, however, see possible amends to a lot of physical, social and psychological damage that has been strategically done.”
Khumalo said the new government to be formed after Monday’s general elections should be people centred.
“That government will need to have the will power to listen to, understand and accept the demands of the people of Matabeleland and Midlands. It should be engaged in a planned way that should yield positive results,” Khumalo added.
He said although traditional leaders had the right to vote as enshrined in the Constitution, they should not be partisan.
“They are not to belong to any political party and be card-carrying members of such a party. However, they are free to choose who to vote for and which political party to vote for.
“Voting is the highest level of identifying with politics and it is a level at which one exercises his right of choice. This differs from active day-to-day politics.
“It is closer to a national value system that traditional leaders need to enjoy participating in freely,” Khumalo said.
Opposition parties and civil society organisations have accused traditional leaders of toeing the Zanu PF party line and whipping the rural electorate to vote for the ruling party.
“These elections will not derail our quest to have the ability to make decisions locally in Matabeleland and Midlands. This is a cultural programme that stands separate from political influence. This is why the King Lobengula Royal Trust has constantly appealed to political parties not to interfere with cultural processes and procedures.”
Khumalo said the new government should also embrace traditional leadership.
“The government’s strength is the people that vote it in and the people are with cultural leadership. Government has an obligation to empower the traditional leaders than to make them party election winning tools … They should not be seen begging for transport in donkey-drawn scotchcarts, with no water in their homesteads and empty cattle kraals. A leadership training programme would sharpen their roles as leaders in their communities.”