‘Registered Voters Who Don’t Vote Should Be Punished’ – Says Themba Mliswa

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent), says registered voters who don’t vote in elections should be penalised for wasting taxpayers’ money.

Commenting on South African opposition leader Julius Malema’s pledge to assist Zimbabweans return home to vote in the 23 August general elections, Mliswa said Zimbabweans have developed apathy towards voting and those who stay at home on voting day should be penalised. He said:

Julius Malema must understand that the people already here in Zimbabwe don’t want to vote again! Since 2000 the average voter turnout has been a measly 45,67%. The recent March 26 by-elections had even worse turnout figures according to ZEC.

The first task is to convince those who are here to go out and vote. That’s why I had proposed moving a motion that registered voters who don’t vote should be penalized because they are wasting taxpayers’ money.

Those in the diaspora are even worse and won’t come to vote. It’s as simple as that. They can’t be depended upon by any party.

The most depressing about our politics is that people are losing confidence in the electoral system as an avenue for change and development.

Therefore this benefits the incumbent massively. As for Kasukuwere, it’s unthinkable how an effective political campaign can be carried out from outside the country.

With all the facts about our political context, how can one gain followers when they themselves are hiding outside?

What confidence is inspired in potential supporters? Therefore there is no alternative to being on the ground. Social media can only work to a limited extent.

Tyson is my comrade& friend but I will say the truth that he needs to be on the ground if he intends to make an impact.

People may want change but it has to be planned for. It won’t happen by chance without a plan. Look at the Chinese and how they have developed themselves over time.

Be on the ground, 5 years working, and then contest. That will work.

Malema, who leads South Africa’s second-largest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said that his party is ready to hire buses to transport Zimbabweans so they can vote for the government of their choice.

He made the remarks on Thursday at the party’s 10th-anniversary celebration at Uncle Tom’s Community Centre in Soweto.



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