THE chaos that characterised the mobile voter registration in the past three weeks clearly shows the state of unpreparedness the country is in and also flies in the face of President Robert Mugabe’s insistence that elections will be held next month.
Thousands of would-be voters have been turned down by the Registrar-General’s Office on flimsy and frankly stupid grounds in direct defiance of a Cabinet directive that everyone wishing to register must not be turned away.
Voter registration is necessary if free and fair polls are to take place. There is need for a fresh registration exercise as proposed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Once a successful registration exercise has been embarked on, the coalition government should then work on creating a conducive environment for free and fair polls.
It is, therefore, necessary that to avoid bloodbath before, during and after the elections, the electorate should demand minimum reforms to guarantee their vote and ensure that the outcome is not contested.
We need conditions for sustainable elections in the country. Sustainable elections create a stable and sustainable developmental country that would be able to attend to the core demands of its people on a platform of social justice and social delivery.
The leaders of the inclusive government should, as a matter of urgency, implement agreed positions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), including implementation of regional and international standards on democratic elections.
The leadership should also put in place measures to guarantee the security and integrity of the vote, the security of the person, and the people’s will.
We have said it before and will say it again that we must also immediately implement the agreed roadmap to elections which is anchored on the conclusion of the constitution-making process and referendum.
We have to accelerate the preparation of a new voters’ roll, and implement key media and legislative reforms.
The MDC-T is dead right that there is also a need to attend to reforms pertaining to freedom of association and freedom of assembly, fresh delimitation of constituencies to eliminate gerrymandering, and defining measures and procedures to do with the actual election, for instance obliging that the President and the Prime Minister agree on the date of the election.
The electorate should demand that these minimum requirements be put in place before we go for the watershed elections. The people of Zimbabwe should not agree to an election whose outcome can be manipulated.