Police allow anti-Mugabe demo

POLICE have given the greenlight to tomorrow’s National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) demonstration against the government’s decision to take over the procurement of biometric voter registration (BVR) kits ahead of next year’s elections, NewsDay heard yesterday.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora

Zimbabwe is preparing for watershed elections next year and a loose coalition of opposition parties under Nera, which is demanding reforms before next year’s polls, has called for the demonstration.

With the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) having indicated its willingness to use BVR, President Robert Mugabe’s lieutenants in both government and Zanu PF have embarked on a campaign to criticise the move as well as claim it would be an unnecessary expenditure.

Government has also hijacked the purchase of the kits after initially agreeing to accept funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

After a meeting with the Joint Operations Command yesterday, Nera executive member and MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said they would engage the police again today to finalise the route to be taken.

“The demonstration is going ahead. The police have not banned it, but the route is going to slightly change. We will meet at Freedom Square and we will address people on the standard of behaviour to be expected so that there would be no looting and hooliganism,” he said.

“That is what we undertook to do. The most important thing is that it is going ahead and that for the first time police have not banned our demonstration. We still had an option of going to court if they had banned us.”

During their previous demonstration, Harare was turned into a war zone as protesters fought running battles with police officers who were trying to stop them.

Several properties such as motor vehicles and wares at flea markets were vandalised during the demonstration. Nera denied responsibility for the violent elements that hijacked the demonstration.

Mwonzora said tomorrow’s demonstration was meant to exert pressure on Zanu PF to stop electoral theft.

“We are demonstrating against the decision by government to take over the procurement of BVR kits. As you know, according to the original agreement these were to be procured by the UNDP, but for reasons best known to themselves, the government wants to abandon the UNDP process.

“We think that is a way to try and manipulate the procurement system and the whole BVR thing, which is unacceptable,” he said.

Zec argued it would implement the biometric voting system in order to deliver a credible and undisputed poll outcome next year.

12 Responses to Police allow anti-Mugabe demo

  1. zaka jerera March 21, 2017 at 6:52 am #

    kupusa kwana Mwonzora u are being used here,y u nt war vets,they wna gej yo strength as nera.if u strong nxt time u are banned.

    • Petros Magomazi March 21, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      Iwe ndiwe wakapusa

  2. doto March 21, 2017 at 7:11 am #

    Zanu is always afraid of things they dont understand from cellphones to ecocash it was always a struggle to persuade them to allow those projects to go ahead.now bvr is causing them sleep less nights.how ever i dont think it will ensure 100% free elections because still they can manipulate the voters roll by deleting names from percieved opposition strongholds.

  3. Gumandafa March 21, 2017 at 9:20 am #

    Nera must try by all means to put their youth in place so that they can avoid political holigans who may cause havoc to mess the whole programme.

  4. Munya March 21, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    BIG YAWN!!

  5. Wezhira wezhara March 21, 2017 at 9:41 am #

    The Government wants to take over procurement of Biometric Voting Equipment just to sell a dummy to NERA. Towards elections, they will simply claim that they do not have money and it is not a priority. Thereafter Mudede will do what he knows best.

    Svinurai because even on our side as ZANU PF we know kuti Mugabe is past his sale by date. He has expired and will not even be able to address two rallies come 2018.

  6. Tembertshuma March 21, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    Handei tosangana mangwana viva mdc t

  7. WeDenga March 21, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    Viva…viva….Pamberi !!!

  8. WeDenga March 21, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Handei asi tigadzirire kusangana nezvese zvese.

  9. chichi March 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    Be careful that we are looking for dangerous ammunition(power) in people before 2018 and we arrest them.

  10. carlos tokyo March 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    Rigged cllr
    Lets be careful neZANU PF about bvr. Ukaona tavati ivo vatenge naMWARI tinochiona come election time. They will manupulate the whole systm. imbavha dzemaelection idzi

  11. Asylum March 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    Instead of concentrating on demos, they must be busy registering their supporters to vote. MDC-T has the potential of reaching 4 to 5 million votes if they mobilise their supporters to vote. The issue of polling just above 1 million votes in every election & claim rigging must stop forth with

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