Home » Governance » By-Elections a Sheer Waste of Public Funds

BY-ELECTIONS will be held in 16 constituencies across the country on Wednesday and it’s a forgone conclusion that Zanu PF will romp to victory in the absence of a challenge from the main opposition party, MDC-led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

With the MDC formations having boycotted Wednesday’s by-elections, the polls will not only be a sham, but a sheer waste of public funds.

Except for a handful of gladiators in the ruling Zanu PF party and the MDC-T who derive joy from elbowing out their rivals, no one should be excited by elections which are called as and when insecure politicians seek to outdo rivals by recalling them from parliament.

We note with concern that the increased frequency of elections serves no purpose, but is costly and socially destructive.

The country’s election management body — the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) — will spend up to $4 million for the by-elections, a figure that can transform the lives of many people who are facing starvation, or children who are failing to access education.

It is sad to note that taxpayers’ money would be gobbled up in a one horse race that will further entrench Zanu PF’s grip on power. Such a development does not bode well for multi-party democracy but provides fertile ground for totalitarianism to thrive.

And judging by the rate of continued expulsions and suspensions in Zanu PF, more public funds will be wasted in more by-elections as the ruling party purges its ranks of any officials allegedly linked to the Joice Mujuru faction.

By Friday, the party had suspended 141 officials from its ranks who were accused of working with former Vice-President Mujuru. The dog-eat-dog scenario, prevalent in all major political parties, is an unhelpful distraction from matters that really require the attention of government officials, while the opposition, which should keep those in power on their toes, is forever in a split mode.

We urge politicians to focus their energies on crafting policies that will help the country recover from an economic crisis characterised by soaring unemployment and a severe liquidity crunch, among other problems.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard