HOME Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone has made sensational allegations against Zanu PF saying the party was reluctant to release money realised from diamond sales to kick-start the electoral process as it claims to have already registered its supporters as voters, meaning those aspiring to do so now are from other parties, MDC-T in particular.
Report by Everson Mushava
Zimbabwe is preparing to go for elections later this year to end the four-year-old fragile inclusive government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the two MDCs led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.
Voter registration was supposed to begin early this month, but hangs in the balance owing to unavailability of funds. Tsvangirai, who is facilitating the electoral process, has assured money will be released as soon as the budgets are approved.
Makone, who is acting Finance minister, said she had tried to get money from the Ministry of Mines for the electoral process without success, alleging this was because Zanu PF wanted to frustrate the voter registration process as an election strategy because it had already registered its supporters for voting.
“Anyone who registers now is regarded as an MDC-T supporter,” Makone said at her home in Domboshava on Saturday while addressing MDC-T activists on bail for the alleged murder of a police officer Petros Mutedza in Glen View, Harare, in May 2011.
“At its just-ended National People’s Conference in Gweru in December last year, Zanu PF claimed it had registered one million new voters. This is a huge number, enough to secure someone an electoral victory. It would look to us that they are saying we no longer need any new registration,” Makone said.
But in an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Zanu PF secretary for administration hit back saying his party had nothing to do with the release of funds which fell under the armpit of MDC-T.
“Where were they when Zanu PF registered its supporters as voters?” Mutasa charged.
“Did anyone prevent them from registering their supporters? You can tell her (Makone) to think properly. It is Biti (Tendai Biti – Finance minister) who should release funds, and he is MDC-T, not Mpofu (Obert – Mines minister). The MDC-T should leave Mpofu alone.”
Mutasa added: “It’s money that we need to do voter registration which Biti has failed to avail, not minerals. How does Mpofu come in? Since when have minerals been used to register voters? Makone should think straight.”
Makone also said Zanu PF’s refusal to release diamond funds was a delaying tactic because Mugabe’s party wanted elections to be held after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia, when the world focus would have shifted off Zimbabwe. She said Zanu PF was planning to use violence to win the next elections.
“That is why they are delaying the constitution-making process. It is clear they want elections after the tourism conference. But we will not allow that. We want elections now, even if it means to go to polls before security sector reforms.”
She said the MDC-T was ready to go for polls now and would win in a free and fair election even without campaigning.
“I know security sector reforms will not happen now. We can shriek, do whatever, but it will not happen now. Only new governments can institute reforms.
“So for now, we can only hope for a violent-free election before the tourism event,” she said.