We will pursue other routes to force electoral reforms: Opposition

OPPOSITION party leaders yesterday endorsed the decision to disengage the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and pursue other routes to force electoral reforms ahead of next year’s crucial elections.


MDC - T leader Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC – T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

The parties were fighting a collective war against Zec and the government’s decision to renege on the previous agreement concerning the electoral roadmap.

Almost 20 political leaders attended the crisis meeting, among them MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai, Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, PDP leader Tendai Biti, RDZ leader Elton Mangoma, Zimbabwe People First caretaker leader Didymus Mutasa and Marceline Chikasha (ADP).

However, Joice Mujuru, who leads National People’s Party (NPP), was conspicuous by her absence amid reports that she was contemplating going it alone.

In an interview, National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) official and MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora described the meeting as “fruitful”.

He said the leaders agreed to pursue the political, legal and diplomatic route to compel Zec into implementing the reforms.

“The political parties agreed to work together on the fundamental issues surrounding electoral reforms and they formally accept the disengagement with Zec announced to us,” Mwonzora said in reference to last week’s engagement meeting that failed to materialise after Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau stormed out of the meeting.

“They were of the feeling that Zec has dismally failed. They agreed that Zec had failed the test of impartiality and independence required of an electoral management body and that it must be disbanded.”

Mwonzora added: “We will be writing formally to all the responsible authorities about the political and technical unacceptability of Zec as an electoral management body. Further, we are going to escalate and intensify our fight for meaningful electoral reforms.”

He said they would find a way to deal with obstacles to free and fair elections.

Commenting on the United Nations’ decision to endorse government’s take-over of the procurement of the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits, Mwonzora said there was a misreading of the issue, as they had never disputed State funding.

He said their issue was on procurement and they would never accept a situation where government would procure the BVR kits.

“The UN said there is nothing wrong with the government funding the procurement of the kits. Funding of the kits by the government has never been an issue, but the issue is with government procuring. They can give the UN the money to procure because it is wrong for the government to procure. The UN didn’t say anything objectionable,” Mwonzora said, adding they would continue ratcheting up pressure on Zec.

He said next week, they would conduct their rally at Africa Unity Square as Nera to call for the reforms.

Mwonzora said the political party leaders would continue to meet to map the way forward collectively.

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  1. Mujuru misfiring once again. if you are in the opposition we expect u to be doing what the opposition is doing, otherwise u are a planted spoiler. Have lost trust in u mother.

  2. Unless the opposition realign their political viewpoint and marshall their troops accordingly, they will never survive the 2018 electoral whirlwind. Time and again I have warned them not to be entirely consumed by the BVR kits’ dispute which is still prone to manipulation unless operated in good faith and lay the door for reforms open. They should first demand to have their input in the formation of a panel that should consequently oversee the formation of a credible electoral commission from among the members that both the ruling party and the opposition have volunteered for vetting. Therefrom, all stages of the election from voter registration to the declaration of the winner should be left to an independent electoral commission without any interference from any quarter of the political divide. They should further agitate for an independent Judiciary that can settle electoral disputes at any stage by making a ruling that can satisfy all parties. There should also be an independent press that is devoid of intimidation or armtwisting from any party not to mention a fair media access i.e radio, TV and newspaper coverage. There also should not be voter discrimination on whatever basis and the principle of Universal adult suffrage should apply. Last but not least, the opposition should enforce the government to allow international observers to observe and determine the credibility of the election. If the opposition loses focus to the BVR kits alone whose procurement as yet remain a nightmare, they should brace up for another five years in the cold. Watch out!

  3. international observers and monitors should be allowed, the un,eu etc. that. is most crucial thing. and should be number one.other reforms should. follow.

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