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Govt falsifying rural figures to rig elections, opposition leader says

04/02/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
Questioning figures ... BAZ leader, Noah Manyika

THE belief that there are more people living in the rural areas than in urban areas could be false and must be investigated, Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BAZ) opposition leader, Noah Manyika, said.

Manyika said it was important to consider the rural to urban migration, adding that it was not proven that the majority of rural people voted for Zanu PF as the ruling party often claims.

He said the notion was being used to rig elections on behalf of the ruling party. 

Since 1980, Zanu PF had continuously been winning general elections in rural and urban areas but the tide changed in 2000 when the MDC swept nearly all urban seats. 

According to ZIMSTAT, over 7 million people live in the rural areas.

In an interview in Harare, BAZ leader and 2018 presidential candidate, Manyika, said the numbers are questionable considering the exodus in the last two decades.

“I have never trusted the rural data of people that have been proffered by the Zanu PF government for the last 20 years because things are so broken and hard to account for,” said Manyika.

“To be honest with you I suspect there could be some fudging of the numbers there.” 

Manyika added, “Look at how people have migrated from the rural areas not only to urban centres but even abroad as they look for greener pastures.”

He added that his government will make a point to service the rural communities and encourage investment in the rural areas infrastructure and make it easier for people to stay there.

“We need an integrated agriculture recovery plan because the people in the rural areas must not feel that living here (rural) you may not have a good life, but you can have running water and electricity at every household.

BAZ leader also said development does not need the government alone but even individuals.

“Why is it you are a chief executive officer of a company but if you go to your rural area you squat in a pit latrine toilet? It says something about you, the way you think,” he said.

Last figures from the ZIMSTAT say the population in the rural areas increased by 2% between 2002 and 2012 due to the land reform resettlement programme.

It also attributed the increase to 2005 operation Murambatsvina which left many urban dwellers homeless forcing them to relocate to their rural homes.




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