By Daniel Chigundu
MDC-T Vice president and arguably one of the leading female opposition politicians in the country Thokozani Khupe says jobs can only come after the holding of undisputed elections.
Zimbabwe is set to hold general elections in 2018, but there have been disputes between opposition parties and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over certain issues.
Opposition parties are of the view that ZEC is working hand in glove with the ruling Zanu PF party to rig the impending polls and have called for reforms which they think will level the playing field.
Some of the demanded reforms include removal of alleged security personnel within ZEC secretariat, diaspora vote for millions of Zimbabweans outside, curbing of abuse of state resources for the benefit of one party among many others issues.
Despite these demands for reforms, ZEC appears to be unmoved as it has kept the opposition parties in the dark with regards to the 2018 election road map against what had earlier been agreed at the ZEC and political parties’ forum.
Writing on her Facebook page, Khupe said only credible elections will pave the way for returning the country to legitimacy and eventually creation of jobs.
“We are demanding for a free, fair and credible election, so that we return back to legitimacy.
“A free, fair and credible election will bring jobs, it will bring food on the table, and it will bring a better life for every Zimbabwean. Forward ever backwards never,” she said.
Zimbabweans are going through one of their worst experiences since independence, fronted by 90 percent unemployment rate and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told legislators that out of the 13 million people in the country, only 500 000 are formally employed.
Other challenges include massive company closures, low FDI levels, cash shortages and food price hikes among many other issues.
According to former finance minister in the now defunct inclusive government Tendai Biti, if change doesn’t take place soon, the country risks going back to the situation of 2008 where shops had no goods and people were sleeping in bank queues.
In trying to bring change in the country, opposition parties are mulling forming a grand coalition which has long been thought to have been the missing link needed to outclass President Robert Mugabe who has led the country since 1980.
However the journey to the promised land has not been easy as the proposed coalition is dragging to take shape owing to previous personal differences among the opposition leaders.