No to rushed polls, Mnangagwa told

OPPOSITION parties warned yesterday that they would resist attempts by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to railroad them into a general election before the implementation of Sadc-approved election principles and guidelines.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE/DESMOND CHINGARANDE

They were reacting to Mnangagwa’s statement last week, where he told his Mozambique counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, that his government was preparing to hold elections in the next five months.

The opposition said they suspected Mnangagwa wants to arm-twist them into an early election before levelling the political playing field to give himself an unfair advantage over his rivals.

They said their fears were further exacerbated by reports that Zanu PF had already deployed military personnel to rural and urban areas to launch campaigns on behalf of the ruling party.

Addressing an MDC Alliance rally in Epworth on the outskirts of Harare yesterday, MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa said they would not enter the race before an audit of the biometric voter registration exercise was done, to ensure the credibility of the voters’ roll, among other demands.

“We must have an uncontested voters’ roll, which we should audit so that we all know who
is there,” he said.

“We don’t want to be blinded by talk coming from Mnangagwa, we need a clear roadmap that states how we should go to the elections.

“Mnangagwa knows that we want free and fair elections, but he is not doing what he should do.”

Chamisa said the army should stay away from electoral processes.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said although his party was geared for the polls, they would resist moves to railroad them into participating in a flawed election.

“The issue at hand is that we need reforms first,” he said.

“The military should go back to the barracks and not intimidate our parents in the villages on behalf of Zanu PF.

“That will not give a credible election.

“Traditional leaders must refrain from acting partisan and stick to their jobs, which is leading communities in their diversity.”

In previous elections, the opposition has often accused Zanu PF and its former leader, ex-President Robert Mugabe, of unleashing the military into rural areas to instil fear and force citizens to rally behind the ruling party.

“The State media should be reformed as provided for in the Constitution and we want foreign observers to be allowed in and the secrecy of the vote should be guaranteed,” Gutu said.

“What we have heard at the moment is that people in rural areas are being forced to give to Zanu PF supporters the serial numbers of their voter registration slips.

“This is illegal.”

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti said any attempts to force the electorate into a flawed poll would be fiercely resisted.

“Elections should be held between July 22 and August 22, 2018, but what is key is what Mnangagwa does between now and then,” he said.

“Chiefs must stay in their palaces without interfering in politics. The army should be professional and not do a coup on Zimbabweans.”

PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said the country was not yet ready for elections.

“We have just had a military action against the military-supported Zanu PF government. What’s there to stop them declaring a win by the opposition as criminality around the ballot box and proceed to arrest the opposition as criminals undermining the ballot?” he asked tongue in cheek.

The parties also demanded the immediate appointment of a credible person to take over as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, following Rita Makarau’s resignation late last year.

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi insisted that political legitimacy would only come through the levelling of the playing field.

“As long as we still have partisan State media, a partisan military and police force, we are in trouble,” he said.

“We are prepared, like never before, but we will not be blinded into not demanding reforms.”

However, Zanu PF commissar, Engelbert Rugeje denied that his party had deployed military personnel into the rural areas, accusing the media of “focusing on minor issues, yet there are important matters that need public attention”.

“You, media people, have a problem; you focus on non-important issues and not look at what I said about peace and unity,” he shot back.

“You want to write things that sell.

“Next time, talk to Cde SK (Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo) and not me. I am a trained soldier, an old person and I don’t want to play games with you.

“Listen, you are lucky to have spoken to me. “Next time, don’t call me, just call the spokesperson and ask him.

“Anyway, I did not say that we will use the military, why? We have structures as Zanu PF to campaign for us.”

Acting Zec chairperson, Emnanuel Magade told NewsDay that he had received reports of intimidation of potential voters from various parts of the country and warned parties to exercise restraint during campaigns.

“We have been receiving the reports, but we want to urge those behind it that we don’t want them to intimidate voters because we want our 2018 elections to be free and fair,” he said.

“After receiving the complaints, we met with the ruling and opposition parties over the issue and we have agreed that our elections should be free from intimidation and free from manipulation of electoral processes.

“The serial numbers they are recording have no use during the 2018 harmonised elections.”

18 Comments

  1. For Zimbabwe to progress and be taken very seriously as an important country in the world,Zanu pf must go at all costs so that zimbabwe can develop through investor confidence. We need to adopt a think tank mentality of changing government after every 10 years or less,because one party government as is zimbabwe’s case is not even helping for the progression of the status co. Zanu pf has had its shares of failures, henceforth they do not have anything new to offer to the people of zimbabwe. Developed countries regularly changes governments,what is the problem with black African people? We want good living,but we are coping that good living from those developed countries,so why can’t we do good things? Mugabe has gone so ED and others will also follow, hence leadership change will bring glory back in zimbabwe. Down with Zianu pf’s individual self centred ideology.

  2. Wezhira wezhara

    Zanu PF will go away provided people vote them out but as it stands, I am one person who is happy with reforms in my beloved party so my vote and that of my family will go to ED.The person we disliked is gone so Viva Zanu PF Viva

    1. VIVA. We do not need other players to twist or change the Path ED is trying to resurface. Let him mend relations with the international community and bring investors. BUT NGAASAGARISE SAMKOMA WAKE.

  3. Sun rises and sets

    Good thinking , i wish those in zanu realise that without them in power we are a golden nation.
    Zanu must Go and may God grant wisdom to all opposition parties so that we rally under one alliance and remove zanu .
    Please save us from the 100% corrupt zanu dead wood.

  4. true zanu and its looters must go we are better without you

  5. poor chamisa this is your biggest mistake all the time munoita ma rally enyu telling people kuti you are not going for election because of so and so problems. But on last you then mozoti you are now contesting. You are only shooting yourself in the foot. the only way to win is to encourage your chaunga to register and vote chete. that what ZANU PF does they encourage a few of their voters to vote. imimuchiti you are not going for election pedze moti parigwa.

    look at ED is playing his part and he will win whilst you are complaining you are political immature chete. vanhu havana kupusa momboti hatidi mozoti toda iyo nguva yapera kupata

  6. Wezhira wezhira i can’t go against your wishes because god gave us different talents,but people with god’s vision, wisdom and knowledge knows very well that if this project fails,i will definitely take a different root away from its failures.But as you and your fellow zanu pf supporters have dismally failed to take stock of the 38 years of failures and destruction,then you are a useless part of a destructive enzyme we don’t want in a civilized society. ED Mnangagwa has been with Mugabe for the past 38 years and the status co still remains,so what changes are you expecting zimbabwe to have from the same party same people and same useless ideologies? Zimbabwe fully needs to adopt a culture of changing governing parties and leadership so as to adopt modern life.

  7. for now we dont need an MDC presidency….we need Mnangagwa as president and a good number of MDC opposing MPs.

  8. Haiwawo ana Chamisa tipei ma serious, reform reform dzeyi dzamakatadza kuita muri muInclusive govt?? Muchahukura nezve ma reforms kusvika madhongi amera nyanga Zanu PF ichingotonga. Makamboiwanepi skweeky clean voter’s roll. Give us a list of those “reforms” that u are always moaning about timboaona kuti ndeaoi

  9. Please don’t try to paint God into your silly arguments. Who told you that Opposition is holly and Zanu is satanic?

  10. It would be foolhardy for the MDC Alliance to participate in an election without reforms to legitimize the eventual outcome. You do not need to be a political scientist to know that, as things stand, the 2018 elections will only be free and fair in word and not on the ground!

    1. MDC tozokuonai pamberi apo chimboisai your house in order ikozvino tombotamba iri kurira iyi

  11. For the sake of peace, stabilty and development guys munhuwese kwa Mnangagwa,lets give him a chance. Politics dzekuda kukwanakwana nekudya ngadzimbomira nyika yangayaparara igadziriswe. Ndodambudziko redu MaZimbo kusataura ne one voice. Izvezvi vamwe vanotosponswa kuda kunoratidzira kuDavos we are killing ourselves time is flying regai timbogara mushewo vana vamboshandawo. Kana vatigare vokurumidza kubvawo tisati taimba kutonga kwaro part 2

  12. MDC please gives us your policies on economy,land and so on not complaints and criticism of Zanu Pf. ED is selling his party through his anti corruption policy and economic policies while you are busy infighting and discouraging voters. Tiudzei what you have to offer chete chete, nyaya yekungoti toda kubvisa nhingi haina dhiri, that’s not a policy.

  13. Comment…kutonga kwarooo.Ngoma inofadza

  14. CHAMISA WHEN DID YOU GET TO KNOW THAT THE ELECTIONS ARE DUE THIS YEAR? WHERE WERE YOU ALL ALONG. IN PARLIAMENT YOU SHUD HAVE RAISED PRESSURED FOR THESE ISSUES. IF YOU THINK THE ZANUPF WILL HELP YOU TO DEFEAT OR WEAKEN THEM THEN YOU ARE LOST. THINK AGAIN

  15. Whether it’s zanu that wins o loses we need political reforms that will benefit the nation. We think and see the things differently but political reform for us all

  16. Comment…it’s only that we have cheap politics in Zimbabwe,if these opposition parties have pple at Heart they should have given ED a chance to do correctional work for he knows where exactly his former counterparts failed, MDC T must be mature enough not just kuti toda kumbotongawo they were in the inclusive government what good d

    id they do their constituencies to show except kuti vakatopatsurana Biti natsvangirai ngati kurei ED I trying to make amends but some are busy crashing his efforts let’s help him for three years kana zvanaka things kumaelections pasina nzara kana kushaiwa mari mubank much wose achifara tovoter tisingatsutsumwe BENZI RAUNOZIVA RIRINANI PANERAUSATI WAZIVA,kutamba mkadzi wemumba uchiti ari kubereka vasikana bedzi worry mumwe chenjera kuti achaita matwins sikana futi ukazvushaya Mwari ndivo mugadzi weumambo musatye henyu kana zviri muurongwa hwaMwari muchatongawo hatisitose vatongi

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