BY RICHARD MUPONDE
BULILIMA WEST legislator Dingumuzi Phuti (Zanu PF) has urged people in his constituency to register as potential voters in order to reach the stipulated threshold of registered voters and remain a stand-alone constituency.
This came after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that the constituency, along with two others in Matabeleland South, could be merged following a delimitation exercise.
Bulilima West has slightly over 14 000 registered voters against the minimum threshold of 21 644, leaving it open to being merged with another.
In meetings held on Friday and Saturday in his constituency, Phuti urged all eligible villagers to participate in the biometric voter registration exercise.
“Mobilise people to go and register to vote. If you lose this constituency, you will be starting things all over again. Tell your children who are in South Africa, whenever they come for holidays, to go and register to vote. We want the delimitation exercise to reach us after we have already improved the figures three-fold,” Phuti said.
He said if the constituency were to be merged with Bulilima East, development would be negatively impacted.
“I will organise transport for you to go and register in Plumtree Town. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to. A constituency is not determined by political parties, but registered voters. Registering is an ongoing process. Zec offices are open, as I speak, for you to register. If you don’t do that, I will find it difficult to fulfil your interests as it would be merged with Bulilima East. It will also take time for you to develop because five years can lapse before your MP comes down here,” he said.
Matabeleland South province could lose three constituencies in the delimitation exercise, including the Gwanda South constituency, a Zanu PF stronghold since 2008.
Bulilima West constituency is currently held by Zanu PF politburo member, Abednico Ncube.
Currently, it has 15 230 registered voters.
Insiza South, represented by Filabusi miner, Spares Sithole, also a Zanu PF stronghold, could be collapsed too.