By Staff Reporter
SOUTH Africa-based opposition Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD) leader Herbert Chamuka has added his voice to growing concerns of allegations that ZEC intends to rig the forthcoming by-elections.
Chamuka, whose party has decided to boycott the polls citing lack of proper electoral reforms, also claimed he knew ZEC was in the process of rigging the 2023 general election.
Zec has of late been under fire over a shambolic voters’ roll as it battles to regain credibility after a disputed 2018 presidential election.
The country will hold by-elections to fill 28 vacant parliamentary seats and 127 local authority seats on March 26. The seats fell vacant following recalls, deaths and postings to diplomatic positions.
Zec has been accused of illegally moving 170 000 voters from their original constituencies and wards in the voters’ roll to be used for the March 26 by-elections and understating the number of new registrants in a move which activists say could affect the credibility of the polls.
“Zanu PF will rig these elections regardless of the noise going. They already have their systems in place and I see them picking up a few urban seats to give the impression that they are gaining ground over the opposition which has won there since 2000,” Chamuka said.
“I don’t see Tendai Biti winning in Harare East, and I think Zanu PF will also rig in places such as Kwekwe Central and Gokwe Central. As long as the electoral reforms are not in place, elections are a waste of time in Zimbabwe and they are only used to give Zanu PF a semblance of legitimacy,” he said.
“That is why as IPD we said we are not participating in this sham election whose outcome is predetermined. We will participate in the general elections next year when international observers are on the ground,” he added.
He also called on parliament to expedite electoral reforms saying: “We must initiate the process on our own in parliament and not sit around hoping Western sanctions will help pressure Zanu PF to give up power. It doesn’t work that way. Zanu PF chefs are insulated from sanctions and as we have learnt they are not affected,” Chamuka said.