OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party has set tough literacy conditions for selection into local authorities, Parliament and Senate, including need for community track record on local governance matters.
According to an internal party document titled, ‘Citizens And Community Consensus Candidate Selection Procedures’ seen by The Standard, relevant professional qualifications will be a prerequisite for candidates willing to stand for mayoral, parliamentary committee and council chairperson positions.
Mayors, deputy mayors, council chairpersons and committee chairpersons at both Local Government and Parliamentary levels would also undergo an “aptitude” test to assess their ability to take the leadership positions.
Parliamentary candidates should be able to read and interpret legislation and national policies, while council candidates must have the ability to read and interpret council legislation, administrative by-laws, and policies, according to the party guidelines.
CCC deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyedenga told The Standard in an interview yesterday that this would enhance efficiency and productivity in the governance system.
“For example, one cannot be the chairperson for the finance parliamentary portfolio committee when they do not have a strong background in economic or financial issues,” Shiriyedenga said.
“Without professional experience in the field, one may not be able to comprehend the issues raised and will fail to address the problems arising.
“So, setting those literacy requirements is a way of ensuring maximum productivity.”
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Zanu PF yesterday held its primary elections to select parliamentary and local authority candidates to represent the party in the upcoming elections set for July or August.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to proclaim the election dates.
In its document, the CCC said it had anchored its candidate selection on the grassroots to give ordinary citizens the authority to select representatives of their choice.
“Zimbabwe is no exception to the increased global sentiment for citizen inclusion and leadership accountability in all governance spheres,” part of the CCC document reads.
“In response to this growing sentiment, the citizens’ movement seeks to present candidates that are a product of broad citizen consultations and inclusion in an effort to entrench the new culture of citizen engagement, participatory democracy and democratic accountability.”
In an interview with The Standard yesterday, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa said the community-based candidate selection process was to avoid imposing candidates on the electorate.
“Zanu PF looks for a leader who wants to lead the people, but we want a leader whom the people want,” Chamisa said.
“Zanu PF wants its candidates to submit curriculum vitaes, but we focus on community track record — what are the people saying about the leader they want?
“Zanu PF wants individuals with financial prosperity, but we are concerned with personality.
“We are putting emphasis on citizens’ participation.
“There will be no imposition of candidates. The power is with the citizens.
“Where there are ties between candidates, citizens will still be expected to decide on their own the best candidate.”