Threat to boy­cott Vuwani elec­tions

Res­i­dents don’t want to vote un­der the Collins Cha­bane Mu­nic­i­pal­ity

African Times - - Front Page - BUKUTA NKUNA

TROU­BLE seems to be brew­ing in Vuwani as com­mu­nity lead­ers threaten to boy­cott the 2019 general elec­tions if their is­sues are not re­solved.

The threats come after the re­al­i­sa­tion that they would be vot­ing un­der the Collins Cha­bane Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to the ProMakhado Task Team, they were never in­formed by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) that they would fall un­der the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Pro-Makhado Task Team spokesper­son Nsovo Sambo said: “We have asked them sev­eral times about this mat­ter but they have failed to re­spond. If you log on to their web­site, it shows all the information of LIM345 (cur­rently Collins Cha­bane Mu­nic­i­pal­ity). So that is why peo­ple said that they’re not go­ing to par­tic­i­pate.”

The com­mu­nity has been in­volved in a run­ning feud with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment over der­ma­ca­tions. He said de­spite pre­vi­ous en­gage­ments with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment over ser­vices in the area, their re­gional of­fices re­mained closed and that dump­sters con­tin­ued to hog dirt.

“So far we have in­formed COGHSTA for­mally of our time­lines and the is­sues we want ad­dressed be­cause we need a road map over the is­sue of de­mar­ca­tion in terms of how are they go­ing to deal with it? We also want clar­ity on whether the of­fices in Vuwani are op­er­a­tional or not. We want them to come and tell us what is hap­pen­ing with clean­ers be­cause they have all been re­moved within the area of Vuwani but we have heard from peo­ple that they are in LIM345,” said Sambo.

He said the com­mu­nity was will­ing to aban­don the right to vote if their is­sues were not re­solved.

De­spite the threats, IEC spokesper­son Kate Bapela as­sured com­mu­nity mem­bers that the mat­ter was be­ing han­dled by their pro­vin­cial of­fices. She said those who want to check their ad­dresses and reg­is­ter new ones should head to vot­ing sta­tions.

“Such mat­ters are nor­mally dealt with by our pro­vin­cial of­fices be­cause they are the ones that will con­sult and dis­cuss with them how they plan. This is an ad­dress har­vest.

“We are look­ing for the ad­dresses of peo­ple but ob­vi­ously we are not go­ing to turn away peo­ple who are will­ing to reg­is­ter. There are go­ing to be con­sul­ta­tive pro­cesses which are go­ing to hap­pen at a pro­vin­cial level,” she said.

Bapela said they were aware of the hos­til­i­ties in the area but she urged com­mu­nity mem­bers to co­op­er­ate with au­thor­i­ties.

RIGHT: The com­mu­nity of Vuwani might not take part in the 2019 general elec­tion. Pic­tures: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela / Vis­ual Buzz SA

LEFT: Pro-Makhado Task Team spokesper­son Nsovo Sambo.

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