By Criswell Chisango
Karoi , August 6,2013 – Mbuya Jessica Thomas, aged 74 years is happy that she participated in the just ended harmonized elections as a voter in Karoi although she comes from a farm on the town’s outskirts.
She was among several thousands of citizens denied the right to vote in 2008 elections after the Zanu PF government labeled them aliens and they remained ‘’stateless’’ thus failing to make decisions through voting in national elections .
As a former farm worker at Tsangadzi farm about 4 kilometers out of Karoi , Mbuya Jessica’s vote assisted the Zanu PF candidate for ward 10, Susan Bhero in Chiedza suburb to triumph.
Bhero scored 672 votes against Movement for Democratic Change’s Solomon Chiwaya’s 602.
‘’I had lost hope after we were forced to renounce our Malawian citizenship. We were watching from sidelines during 2008 elections. I was a really unhappy because our names were not in voters roll. Luckily got a voter registration slip that made it possible for me to vote for Mai Bhero and Zanu PF. She facilitated our getting the small paper that enabled me to vote. I am very happy’’ she says her face beaming with confidence.
Bhero is among several Zanu PF candidates in both local council and House of Assembly elections who won with a wide margin in the elections with the aid of former aliens who were tactfully mobilized and assisted to vote for the party.
Hurungwe Central ,that covers Karoi town had Zanu PF’s Godfrey Beremauro who clinched 12 708 votes against MDC-T’s candidate Simbarashe Takawira’s 4 267.
Bitter Chiwaya admits that the older generation of aliens played a decisive role against MDC-T during recent elections.
‘’These elders were literally dumped by the registration officials as they were denied the right to be registered. But sensing an opportunity, the Zanu PF machinery quickly facilitated that they get voter registration slips by dishing them with proof of residence that was organised by sitting MP Beremauro though they were not on the voters roll. It was a scandal’’ fumed Chiwaya.
He knows that he lost due to the ‘’imported elderly aliens’’ from nearby farms who voted in Karoi urban wards.
This is not an isolated incident as MDC-T ponders over their massive loss that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai described as a ‘’fraud’’ drawing local and international condemnation.
Givemore Mathias (25 years) whose parents are of Zambian origin admits that they had no problems in registering and voting because it was all made easy for them by the chefs.