MDC Alliance presidential candidate on Wednesday stormed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) offices demanding to meet chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba after it emerged she was not available to accept the pre-election coalition’s petition.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Chamisa led thousands of supporters protesting against Zec’s management of the electoral process ahead of make-or-break polls later this month.
Clad in red overalls, Chamisa led senior party and alliance leader, among them former Finance minister Tendai Biti and MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora in venting their anger at officials, including director of information Justin Manyau who was on hand to receive them.
“We are not moving from here. I can tell you now and we are going to start the process that we want. If they want to kill us, they can call in the army with all kinds of guns. You guys are not serious.
“We gave notice to Chigumba that we were coming here. We told Chigumba we are coming and you can’t send us. How did she move and to where?,” Chamisa could be heard shouting.
Chamisa has declared there will not be an election unless Zec accedes to the demand for a clean and complete voters’ register that would be used for the election. He also want the poll management body to allow him as well as other contestants access to the printing of the ballot paper that he thinks provides the link to Zanu PF’s attempts to “rig” the election.
Chigumba argues she has complied with the law and provided all parties contesting the election with an analysable voters’ roll.
However, the MDC Alliance has demanded one with biometrics in the form of pictures of voters and indicated huge flaws in the register of voters, including reports of the existence of centenarians, including a 141-year-old.
During the altercation with Zec officials, Mwonzora weighed in: “We are ready to sleep here. We already fed up. This is not the first time we are handing in a petition; the first one went through smoothly. They will see us.”
Biti was also left fuming at what he called was utter disrespect from the electoral commission.
“This is very disrespectful. It’s arrogance. The arrogance and contempt is shocking. You are supposed to be independent ,” the former Treasury chief said.
Zec’s independence has been questioned in the wake of reports that Zanu PF might have had access to its database after it emerged that the ruling party has been sending customised campaign messages to voters using the mobile phone numbers directly linked to the constituencies in which they are registered.
Chamisa was not done, threatening to make Zec ungovernable.
“Do you know this place can be chaotic if we call people in,” he warned.
Manyau looked unfazed: “Let me say I have heard what you have said.”