More stuff from Former-Councillor Laban . . . over the weekend, we had the announcement of the election and nomination court dates.
So, on Monday, I arranged to be away from work (as I am one of the few Zimbabweans who has a job).
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 – up and off to do the task. First stop, Makombe complex. After visiting three offices (and the gate guard, door guard, photocopy man), I am told, “ZEC Office, Fourth Floor, Cecil House – Corner Jason Moyo and Third.”
I get there, walk up the stairs (the lift does not work), and search for anyone in the offices. The reception and two adjoining offices are empty, but someone on the stairs helps, and eventually two people come by. “Am I a from a Party, or Independent?” – “Independent” “Councillors’ papers are with the local authority. You must go to Town House. I sent the papers there yesterday.”
Off I go to Town House – I remember where it is, and am greeted by all sorts of people! Quite nice. People ask of my health, and I ask after old friends. However the Chamber Secretary (along with many others) is away at a memorial for the dead firemen. “Can I come back in the afternoon?” “Yes, I can.” In the afternoon, she is still away.
Wednesday 30 January 2008 Next morning, she is around. (More old conversation.) I get in to see her and fill in a form to say I have the forms. I ask for, and she will prepare, “a written certificate of clearance in terms of section 125 of the Act from: b) the relevant council.”
Then, off I go. I get to work at 1200. And leave early, to go home (because it is right beside my local police station, in fact, from my kitchen, I can look into the holding cells). I need to deal with another aspect of the forms. “a written certificate of clearance in terms of section 125 of the Act from: a) the Zimbabwe Republic Police.”
At the police station, I am informed, “you must go to a bookstore, buy two finger print forms, then come here and get fingerprinted.” This is only done between 1000 and 1200. Then, I will have to take the forms to Morris Depot, and get clearance.
As for the rest of the form, it requires a birth certificate and Nat Registration card (photocopies) (we guess for identification and to show you are over 21), a passport size photograph, and then nominators. There are spaces for 6, but you can add more on a separate sheet of paper if you want. The nominators must be registered to vote in your ward, and provide Nat Reg number, address, signature and date, and be witnessed by you or your agent/representative. You must sign a declaration, and there are more papers included (Party authorisation forms, and such like.)
So tomorrow it is back to the quest. Anyone out there registered in Ward 7 who wants to nominate me? Let me know, I will come by.
And I am still not sure if I should stand or boycott. The election will not be free and fair (if Zanu PF thought they might lose, they would not hold it), but the campaign will be a chance to bring up the issues (like refuse collection), and make people think about what they want, instead of what they do not want. If I get elected (and there is definitely a chance of that) can I make a difference in Council? Is there a danger I will be overwhelmed by Party people who only know how to say what their party tells them to say? Even with that danger (an others) do you still want me to give it a go? Or can I achieve more by campaigning, and then withdrawing before the elections. If nothing else, the process of getting nominated will, I hope, be a learning process that I can ‘share’ with you all.