The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai is only taking part in the elections due at the end of this month because of the pressure from the people who want change because there is no way they are going to be free and fair.
The party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti today said: “This election is immoral, un-free, illegitimate and unfair. We are participating in these elections because the people of Zimbabwe are tired as evidenced by the way they spoke in Marondera, Mutare, Masvingo, Neuso and Gokwe today. The people want change and we are going to soldier on.”
Biti said his party had great faith in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair Rita Makarau but it was dismayed by the actions of the ZEC secretariat, which clearly showed that it was taking instructions from the “chaos faction” of ZANU-PF.
He said that since the special voting exercise started on Sunday, the process was marred by a number of irregularities including delays in the dispatching of ballot papers, administrative blunders and blatant violation of the electoral law.
“There is a serious disconnect between ZEC and its staff,” Biti said.
Biti said the military junta and some dark forces in ZANU-PF had now taken over the operations of ZEC.
Below is the statement from the MDC in its own words:
Zimbabwe heads for an illegal election
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
The chaotic special voting exercise has exposed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s lack of preparedness for free, fair and credible elections on 31 July, the MDC secretary general, Hon. Tendai Biti has said.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, today, Hon. Biti said although the MDC has high respect for ZEC commissioners ad its chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, the party was dismayed by the actions of the ZEC secretariat, which clearly show that it is taking instructions from the ‘chaos faction’ of Zanu PF.
Hon. Biti said the MDC had been vindicated in its calls for reconstitution of the ZEC secretariat.
“It is evident that our fears are being vindicated,” Hon. Biti said.
Since the special voting exercise started on Sunday, the process has been marred by a number of irregularities including delays in the dispatching of ballot papers, administrative blunders and blatant violation of the electoral law.
Hon. Biti cited a number said in Mashonaland Central ballot dispatched by ZEC were mixed. In Masvingo there was not a single ballot paper dispatched by yesterday morning while in Harare long queues were witnessed at polling stations.
To add to the chaos at some polling stations, polling agents from the MDC were turned away on flimsy grounds that they had not been accredited as polling agents when in fact they were duly accredited.
“There is a serious disconnect between ZEC and its staff,” said Hon. Biti adding that the military junta and some dark forces in Zanu PF had now taken over the operations of ZEC.
“The constant abuse of the law has arrested this election from day one. There was clear breach of the secrecy of the vote as at some centres they were called by their names and told to come and vote,” said Hon. Biti citing Mt Pleasant and Main Hall polling stations.
“It is unacceptable and illegal. ZEC discarded the voters’ roll and is using illegal election practices,” he said.
In Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, Zanu PF parliamentary candidates were slaughtering cattle for the police officers.
Hon. Biti queried why 70 000 applications had been made when the police had an estimated contingent of 45 000.
“No one is recruited without the Treasury concurrence,” said Hon. Biti adding that the MDC had managed to get hold of a copy of the full list of civil servants who had applied for special voting and will be analyzing it comprehensively to expose any rigging that may occur.
“We are really worried about ZEC and we have lost constitutional respect as the military junta have taken over and ZEC no longer has the ability to run the elections. If three days were not enough for 70 000 people what guarantees are there that they will be able to manage six million people in one day. There is a hidden hand driving this chaos,” said Hon. Biti.
He said as a party, the MDC is aware that Zimbabwe was going into an election without critical legislative and media reforms while violence was on the increase in some parts of the country. He also complained that MDC campaign posters were being pulled down across the country.
“This election is immoral, un-free, illegitimate and unfair. We are participating in these elections because the people of Zimbabwe are tired as evidenced by the way they spoke in Marondera, Mutare, Masvingo, Neuso and Gokwe today. The people want change and we are going to soldier on,” said Hon. Biti.
He said the MDC will not give up the fight and will use all the avenues to ensure change happens.
“We will continue to go to the courts as everyone has to be accountable and we will inform SADC,” said Hon. Biti while thanking genuine police officers who took part in the special voting exercise as they reduced the vote rigging chances of Zanu PF.
“The police officers have frustrated Zanu PF in its attempt to cheat as it has not worked out. This shows that the people of Zimbabwe want change,” he said. Hon Biti revealed that the party had been overwhelmed by messages of support and solidarity from members of the security establishment who are urging the party to soldier on.