By Edward Makuzva– FORUS President Irene Muyenziwa, said the apathetic attitude which was evident in these recently, By- elections is a clear sign of an electorate fed up with empty promises by the incumbent leadership.
Speaking at the press conference in the capital, Muyenziwa added that FORUS party played a watchdog role in these by-elections to see whether ZEC has adopted the much needed electoral reforms as well as the electorate’s attitude towards elections.
She said the voter apathy was caused by the incumbent leadership and failure by traditional opposition parties to salvage power from the ruling party.
The businesswoman cum politician highlighted that the figures by ZEC showed massive lack of interest from the electorate to participate in the elections.
Muyenziwa said the piecemeal reforms ushered in by the ZEC could also another contributory factor to the apathy which characterised by the by-elections.
“In Epworth, for instance, Citizens Coalition for Change ( CCC) garnered 8283votes, Zanu Pf got 10248 votes while MDC Alliance had a paltry 745 votes and other candidates had 533 votes . The total vote cast in Epworth constituency was 19809.
“It is clear that the voter apathy was appalling taking into consideration that there are 71000 registered voters in Epworth as per ZEC records. The total percent of those who participated in the by-elections in Epworth is 28%.
“Voter apathy was evident in many constituencies dotted across the nation. For example in Zengeza 7BB polling station. CCC took a win with just a mere 99 vote cast vs ZANU PF’s 47 voters, Gokwe Central CCC had 32 vs ZANU PF 9 voters.
“This was probably promoted by an undecided electorate and low female representation which is patiently waiting for FORUS Party to refresh the political sphere with some sound political and economic ideas”, Muyenziwa explained.
The veteran politician added that such statistics are retrogressive towards gender equity and achieving the targeted 50\50 % female representation in parliament.
She said the youths and first timers voters were missing in action despite the fact that they were registered voters.
Muyenziwa said those within the structures of both CCC and ZANU PF are probably the only voters who participated in the just ended by elections.
Meanwhile, statistics released by ZEC indicated that most constituencies have more than 35000 registered voters but only a paltry percentage of less than 25% voter turnout was recorded.
The overall turn out in the by elections according to ZEC was 35% . According to Biometric Voter Registration ( BVR) of 2018 , Zimbabwe has 70% of the population under the of 35 years and less than 10% is over 65 years.