FORMER Home Affairs minister and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa has expressed doubts over the credibility of next month’s general elections, which he said were being rushed through before implementation of key reforms demanded by opposition parties.
BY SILAS NKALA
Dabengwa told Southern Eye that the ruling Zanu PF already had an upper hand, with State machinery at its disposal, amid reports that they had also deployed over 5 000 State security agents to rural areas as its campaign managers.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday proclaimed July 30, as the date for elections.
“I do not think that the playing field is level for the elections. I am yet to see the new amendments that have been made to the electoral law. I do not know whether they cover most of the issues of concern to us, such as access to the media — the government media — which is radio, television, and, of course, coverage by government newspapers,” he said.
“We still have over 5 000 army personnel deployed as commissars mainly in the rural areas for campaigning for the ruling party. We still have a number of security personnel in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [Zec]. They are still there, we have a number of army and [Central Intelligence Organisation] CIO operatives in control of Zec.”
Dabengwa in the past elections has raised the red flag over the stuffing of the voters’ roll with names of dead people and those over 100 years old which he claimed were used by former President Robert Mugabe’s administration to rig elections.
On the current voters’ roll Dabengwa said he is satisfied with it, although the verification exercise is still pending.
“If there are any people who would have died after registration people will be in a position to have the names removed from the roll. I think any dead person who appears on the current voters’ roll would have died after registering recently,” he said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday declined to comment on the allegations.
“I have no comment, just put it that way, I have no comment,” he said. The ruling party has previously denied allegations that it had deployed the military to the rural areas campaign for Zanu PF candidates.