By Staff Reporter
MDC Alliance Presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa says the chaos that has marred the recently held Zanu PF primary elections casts doubt over the ruling party’s ability to conduct free and fair elections this year.
Previous elections that have been held since 2000 when MDC-T was formed, have largely been disputed with a lot of rigging claims and were also accompanied with violent activities which left many people dead, others injured and many properties destroyed.
However, since his inception in November last year President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to hold free and fair elections this year, however, his words have not been followed by the corresponding action on the ground where opposition parties are currently demanding reforms before the polls.
Constitutionally, Zimbabwe is supposed to hold elections with the earliest date being July 21 and the latest date set at August 21 and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is currently compiling a new voters roll that seeks among other things to deal with issues of ghost voters.
Addressing people who had gathered for the Worker’s Day celebrations organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) at Dzivarasekwa Stadium, Chamisa said Zanu PF has dismally failed the test of holding free and fair elections.
“How do you have a free and fair election if you can’t hold an ordinary primary election in your party? You can’t count your own ballot boxes for a few people you are now saying you want to do for the whole country.
“That is why we are saying ZEC we are not going to forgive each other this time,” he said.
Chamisa hinted that he will soon be calling for a nationwide protest to demand necessary electoral reforms and free and fair elections.
“Very soon I will be calling for protest where I will be calling everyone who wants a free and fair election to come into the streets why because if we don’t force them to implement reforms that we want for elections they will not listen,” Chamisa said.
Chamisa’s criticism of Zanu-PF comes at a time when ruling party’s primary elections were the direct opposite of being free and fair as there was massive voter rigging which came in various forms such as vote-buying, violence and intimidation, ballot-stuffing, while certain candidates went as far as running away with ballot boxes.
In some constituencies, some candidates had their names missing on the provided ballot papers.
Contacted for comment, Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo asked this reporter to call after five minutes as he was just coming out of a Cabinet meeting, however when called after the requested five minutes, his mobile phone went unanswered and after several attempts, we gave up on pursuing him.
By Staff Reporter