Zec, parties must find each other

WITH Zimbabwe’s crucial elections exactly seven days away, it goes without saying that all key stakeholders should put their hands on the deck and level the roadmap to avoid any hiccups that could compromise the credibility of the outcome.

It won’t serve any purpose going into rushed polls, before resolving some sticking issues that we all know would still come back to haunt us for the next five years.

We believe there is room for further dialogue and concessions by both Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the parties involved to ensure whoever wins the polls, is able to walk with his/her head up, with a credibility tag on their chest. We, therefore, caution stakeholders to avoid, reckless statements or ignoring each other’s concerns at this last-minute, as that could dent the credibility of the polls and worse still, most likely plunge the country into civil strife.

We have reached a moment where divine wisdom should prevail over our emotions and personal prejudices.

The country has suffered from the ghost of disputed polls for far too long and it’s indisputable that this has drawn us several decades back in terms of both political and socio-economic development. Zimbabweans deserve better after spending years in splendid isolation, so to speak.

Today’s meeting by Zec’s top brass to take stock of logistical material and other administrative issues such as addressing opposition demands for transparency in the movement and security of the ballot papers is one such opportunity that needs not to be squandered by dwelling on trivialities.

Zec’s meeting will be succeeded by a multi-party liaison meeting, possibly the last before next Monday’s polls. It is important for all those involved in the administration of these elections to throw away personal interests and do what is in the best interest of the country.

The two meetings are taking place in the backdrop of a visit by the Council of Elders led by revered global diplomat Kofi Annan, who counselled before he left that the country had entered a decisive moment which should help shake off its dirty past, characterised by political intolerance, polarisation and economic stagnation.

Annan intimated that this was a crucial election for the country, perhaps as crucial as the first election following independence (in 1980) .

The elders’ counsel should be a challenge to Zec to ensure that election results are undisputed by addressing fully demands by the opposition.

Without legitimacy, the country’s economic performance will remain under threat and that would mean more years of suffering for the people of Zimbabwe. For the MDC Alliance, there is need for the party to come up with reasonable or rather legitimate demands that can ensure a credible poll and for Zanu PF, gone should be the days when the ruling party tries to meddle with the work of Zec.

After all, Zimbabwe does not belong to any particular individual(s) or political grouping, it belongs to the generality of the population and thus must not be privatised.

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