THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has effectively shut the door on opposition MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, declaring that the printing of the ballot papers was non-negotiable and now “water under the bridge.”
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Speaking during a radio interview on Monday evening, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said Zec had completed printing of ballot papers for both the presidential and National Assembly elections and would not bow down to pressure to restart the process.
“It’s water under the bridge. The difficulty is I must balance being nice and being liked and simply just telling the truth,” she said.
“The danger in misleading the people in saying something can be done about the design, about observing the printing of the ballot is that I will be accused of being dishonest and I will be dishonest. Let us just put a little bit of perspective, this is 15 days before the elections. It is dishonest to mislead Zimbabwe saying 15 days before the day of the election we have not printed that ballot or we are likely to abandon the ballot paper that we printed and start afresh. We simply don’t have the time.”
Her remarks came as Chamisa has vowed to block the elections until their grievances have been addressed.
Chigumba added that Zec had given all political parties a copy of the ballot paper, showed them security features and asked them to test the papers, hence could not find the basis of Chamisa’s demands.
“All political parties actually received a copy of the ballot paper. They were given a copy of the ballot paper. They were shown the ballot paper, they were shown the security features, the water mark and were actually told to take the ballot paper put your X on it and if after 12 hours the X migrates, bring it back to Zec,” she said.
But Chamisa yesterday dismissed Chigumba’s utterances saying: “It can’t be water under the bridge, because there is neither water nor bridge as regards ballot papers.”