Ncube calls for Zec reform


MDC president Welshman Ncube has called for an immediate reform of the Zimbabwe Election Commission (Zec) saying extensive consultations should be made over the composition of the body ahead of elections.

Addressing a poorly attended rally of less than 300 people at Beit Hall in Mutare on Sunday, the law professor said his party was ready for elections, but would not be hoodwinked into badly managed polls.

“We are ready for elections whether they come next year, 2013 or 2014. We will, however, not enter into poorly organised elections which will produce contested results. We want the Zec to be fair and its bosses should not be picked from CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) elements,” he said.

Ncube condemned political bickering in the inclusive government and political violence across the country.

He added that only a free and fair election will empower the winner to work on the turnaround mandate of Zimbabwe.

“We also agreed in the GPA (Global Political Agreement) that issues of political violence should be dealt with before elections. There is no greater violation of our rights than to refuse people (the right) to freely choose their own leaders. If you want to know the greatest humiliations of political violence, ask women who are always subjected to this inhuman treatment.”

Ncube also called for sectors like timber processing and diamond mining to create downstream industries so as to generate employment for locals in Manicaland.

The Industry and Commerce minister also called for speedy media reforms, particularly electronic, saying they would provide a free marketplace of ideas as elections drew close.

The party’s deputy national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi downplayed the poor turnout and expressed optimism they would triumph come elections.

The low attendance was a sharp contrast to the MDC-T rally at Sakubva Stadium that drew nearly 20 000 people last month.

Meanwhile, at an earlier rally in Redcliff, Ncube had told supporters President Robert Mugabe’s calls for an election by March next year were political grandstanding because he could not achieve this outside the Sadc-endorsed electoral roadmap.
Ncube, one of the chief negotiators to the GPA, said:

“We will not give in to demands of an election even if he (President Mugabe) charges like a bull . . . We cannot and will not have elections until we are able to create conditions that will not allow (President) Mugabe to cheat again.”