ZIMBABWE Electoral commissioner, Qhubani Moyo, has accused the opposition and other civic organisations of bringing the name of the electoral management body into disrepute by raising “frivolous” court cases against it.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zec is battling several challenges from various fronts over its alleged improper handling of electoral processes ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.
The opposition has been blunt in its war with Zec, accusing the electoral body of wanting to rig the upcoming elections, a charge the electoral body denies.
Moyo said Zec will not fold its arms and allow the opposition and other civic groups to raise cases aimed at causing disaffection among members of the public.
“It is the democratic right of any stakeholder to question or challenge any provision of the electoral or Constitution regarding matters of elections, but clearly they cannot expect the commission not to make its position known,” he said.
“We have realised that some of these cases being taken to court against Zec are frivolous, and lack substance and in a way just directed at putting the name of Zec into disrepute and causing problems into the whole election process,” Moyo said.
Of late, Zec has come under scrutiny over its secrecy regarding the voters’ roll.
In a recent commentary, legislative watchdog Veritas justified its resolve to challenge Zec on the handling of elections saying this was necessary to “reduce the number of post-election challenges”.
“If the elections are in harmony with the Constitution, it will reduce the number of electoral petitions and other challenges brought after the elections have been held.
“If elections are not held in accordance with the Constitution, they will not be regarded as credible, and the government’s efforts to attract investment and revive the economy are unlikely to bear fruit,” Veritas said.
The opposition MDC Alliance argues the electoral field is biased in favour of the ruling Zanu PF, and accused Zec of refusing to implement its demands for electoral reforms.
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa reportedly told party supporters at a rally recently that elections would not be perceived as free and fair if he was not declared the winner in the July 30 elections.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said: “To some extent, the commissioner is telling the truth as the court challenges came a little bit too late. They (organisations) waited for the proclamation of the election date, and yet the Constitution is clear that once the date is set, little or nothing can be done.”
But MDC Alliance spokesperson and MDC leader, Welshman Ncube said: “When we go to court, it cannot be said when we say we want to ensure the integrity of the ballot. There is nothing frivolous given the history of the involvement of Nikuv in this country.”