MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa yesterday threatened to unleash an “earthquake” to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba to accede to his demands for the levelling of the electoral roadmap ahead of the July 30 polls.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/OBEY MANAYITI
The 40 year-old opposition leader made the threat through his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda and chief election agent Jameson Timba.
This came as MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the party would make a “big” announcement
on their way forward regarding their unfulfilled demands today.
“We will not arm the enemy by revealing what we will do. But rest assured there will not be an election if these demands are not met,” Timba said.
Timba said Mnangagwa needed to address the issues raised urgently.
“We do not speak on behalf of other candidates but this is a serious and urgent matter that Mnangagwa and ZEC need to address for their as well as the country’s sake,” he said somewhat cryptically.
The MDC Alliance has raised a red flag on anomalies on the voters roll, ballot paper printing and provision of specimens of the same and militarisation of the Zec among other things that it argued would negatively impact the July 30 election.
Sibanda chipped in saying: “We have not made any demands. Chamisa has not demanded anything from Mnangagwa or the Zec. Instead, we have reminded Zec and Mnangagwa of their obligations to citizens to deliver a free, fair and credible election.”
“We have reminded Mnangagwa and his Zec that a command election will not fly. It will not be acceptable. Zimbabweans are tired. That is the message we have got from our interactions with the populace across this country,” Sibanda said.
“Instead of giving us the complete voters roll that will be used in the election as provided for by the law, we are getting bits and pieces of lists of names. It is up to Zec to put a deadline on when they should make sure they abide by the law.
“It is Mnangagwa who needs an earthquake to make sure Chigumba moves. We don’t need an earthquake to make sure we have a free and fair election. But we will have one.” Chamisa’s spin-doctor accused Zanu PF of working with ZEC to deny the opposition access to the proper voters roll.
But, Zanu PF deputy legal secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said: “These are serious allegations and they should be able to prove them. Zec is an independent commission and we along with other parties are equal players in a game in which the Commission is an impartial referee. Political parties must not be in the habit of throwing around spurious allegations they cannot prove.”
Asked why Zanu PF had not been part of the group of parties that observed the printing of ballots at Zec’s invitation last Friday, Mangwana retorted: “It is only those that are scared of an election who demand to see the printing of ballots. We respect state institutions given mandate by the Constitution to do their job. You have never demanded to see your examination paper being printed. If the MDC is scared of elections they must just say so. It is only the MDC that believes in magic that marks put on the ballot will move. We are not magicians and do not believe in voodoo politics.”
The MDC Alliance also insisted that it preferred the ballot papers to be printed in South Africa, arguing the chosen Fidelity Printers failed to meet their minimum expectations.
In an interview yesterday, Timba said no local company had the capacity to print ballot papers for 5,6 million registered voters.
“If Zambian companies had the capacity we could have gone there but it doesn’t have. The capacity does exist in South Africa,” he said.
“We had agreed on an observation process and everyone will be there. It is not proper to have them printed at a security establishment like Fidelity Printers, an area where we have our currency and gold and guarded with AK rifles.
“It’s not a private printing company. If we had a private company that has capacity we will do it here, we are talking about capacity here.”