The Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is completely and utterly incapable of holding free and fair elections that will pass the test of legitimacy.
It says this was clearly demonstrated in the two by-elections that were held in Mount Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe which the main opposition parties, including the MDC-T, boycotted.
“The ZEC secretariat is still militarised and packed with State-affiliated security agents and other ZANU-PF regime apologists. The secretariat is currently run by a shadowy but apparently very powerful clique that is working very closely with the Nikuv rigging machinery,” MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu said in a statement today..
“The majority of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioners (otherwise very decent and honourable men and women),are not even aware of the actual machinations of the ZANU- PF regime’s rigging machinery. The election rigging template is only privy to a very small clique of trusted operatives.”
Two more by-elections will be held in June after the Constitutional Court ruled that the expulsion of Headlands Member of Parliament Didymus Mutasa and Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa were in order.
The Court will decide next week on the fate of 21 former MDC-T legislators who were expelled from Parliament but elections will only be held in 14 constituencies, also in June.
Tuesday, 07 April 2015
ZEC incapable of conducting a free and fair election
The MDC is convinced that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is completely and utterly incapable of conducting elections that will pass the test of legitimacy. The ZEC secretariat is still militarised and packed with State – affiliated security agents and other Zanu PF regime apologists. The secretariat is currently run by a shadowy but apparently very powerful clique that is working very closely with the Nikuv rigging machinery.
The majority of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioners (otherwise very decent and honourable men and women),are not even aware of the actual machinations of the Zanu PF regime’s rigging machinery. The election rigging template is only privy to a very small clique of trusted operatives. The chaotic by – elections that were recently conducted in the Chirumanzu – Zibagwe and Mt.Darwin West constituencies clearly proved that ZEC is not in charge of the election process. The beleaguered and faction – ridden Zanu PF regime resorted to its tried and tested methods of rigging; particularly in the Chirumanzu – Zibagwe by – election where villagers were literally frog – marched and intimidated into voting for one Auxillia Mnangagwa.
Poor and hungry villagers were commandeered by traditional leaders to go and vote for a candidate who was not only deeply unpopular but also loathed by the local electorate. Independent election observers have since vindicated the MDC position to the effect that unless and until far – reaching electoral reforms are carried out in Zimbabwe, all elections to be held in this country will never be free and fair and credible enough to pass the test of legitimacy.
ZEC has got absolutely no control over the creation and maintenance of the voters’ roll. The voters’ roll continues to be a closely guarded Zanu PF regime secret that is expertly created , maintained and manipulated by a small clique of operatives who are working under the supervision of Nikuv. Under the prevailing uneven and lop – sided electoral playing field, it is, thus, virtually impossible for any opposition political party in Zimbabwe to win elections. There is an urgent need to completely overhaul the ZEC secretariat. As it is, ZEC is just but a figurehead institution with no real and substantive powers to conduct free and fair elections.
The MDC reiterates its call for all peace – loving Zimbabweans, SADC, AU as well as the United Nations to come together and put a stop to our beloved country’s continued slide into political illegitimacy as well as debilitating socio – economic decay. It is not too late to save Zimbabwe from collapsing into a pariah and failed state. This is a defining moment in the history of post -independent Zimbabwe.
The time has now come for Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF regime that he leads to be told,in no uncertain terms,that they have to strictly adhere to the SADC protocol on the holding of free and fair elections. All political players should immediately have equal and unfettered access to the State – controlled print and electronic media. ZEC should be a truly independent and adequately capacitated electoral body. ZEC secretariat should be cleansed of military and some other such State intelligence service operatives.
The voters’ roll that ZEC has inherited from the Registrar – General’s office is a complete shambles. It has to be totally dismantled and a brand new national voter registration exercise should be immediately undertaken. Anything short of this will mean that Zimbabwe shall remain in political and socio – economic doldrums.
MDC : Equal opportunities for all
Obert Chaurura Gutu