President Emmerson Mnangagwa must implement the reforms necessary to have free, fair and credible elections because he needs the elections more than the Movement for Democratic Change, Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi said.
He said the government needs the participation of the MDC-T in the coming elections more than the MDC needs the participation of the government because Mnangagwa needs legitimacy.
“If the president of the MDC-T refuses to participate in this election, this election will be a farce and the international community will not recognise it,” Maridadi told Parliament.
“The President of this country has two problems. He has the problem of legitimacy and acceptability. If he does not run this election in a free, fair and transparent manner, he will still suffer the problem of lack of legitimacy,” he said.
Some of the things that should be addressed are the repealing of legislation like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act ( POSA), as well as equal access to the state media like the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Zimpapers.
“These issues must be attended to if the President of this country must get legitimacy but in any case, come elections in 2018, the President of this country will not need legitimacy because there will be a new pair of hands running the country.”
Below is his full contribution
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker for this opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate for this country. Madam Speaker, allow me to introduce my debate by saying that an election is simply a process that enables the citizen to participate in the political architecture of their nation. By extension when people get into an election they basically saying this how we want to be governed, they are basically talking about the relationship that exists between the elites and those that are afflicted and underprivileged.
Elections are by nature very expensive. When Zimbabwe goes into this election, the main political parties in this country, those that are represented in this Parliament, ZANU PF and MDC-T, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will need no less than half a billion dollars to get into this election. Half a billion is money which we as Zimbabwe do not have. We have a budget of below three billion dollars and half a billion dollars for elections is money which we do not have.
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