By Kudzayi Zvinavashe
National Election Reform Agenda (NERA), a grand coalition by opposition parties in a bid to push for the much needed electoral alterations in Zimbabwe has cried foul following an unproductive meeting with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Monday afternoon as ‘bogus’ political parties out voted the few NERA members who were allowed entry into the meeting.
The meeting was expected to create dialogue between the electoral commission and political parties in a bid to map the way forward in the electoral process that many parties have said is not fair.
Political parties like ZUPO, VANHU, OK MART Zimbabwe have been stated as some of the bogus parties that were present at the meeting.
Addressing scribes in the capital, African Democratic Party President, Marcellina Chikasha said, “in our engagement today (Monday) with ZEC, we as NERA are very disappointed in a number of issues and the lack of sincerity from the part of ZEC”
Chikasha added that the field was not level from the onset as invitations were sent out on the 2nd of September while participants were expected to send in questions they would want addresses with the deadline being the 30th of August.
NERA has also maintains that the setting was intimidating at the ZEC offices with heavy police presence at the offices.
“We had an issue with the chairing of the meeting because ZEC invited us to a meeting, set the agenda for that meeting and also chaired the meeting. We felt we should have had another person who is neutral”
Interestingly the chairperson of the meeting was ZEC boss Rita Makarau who was voted to chair the meeting by the ‘bogus’ political parties present.
As if that was enough, the chair was putting every decision to a vote hence NERA members were out voted and unable to discuss voter registration among many other electoral pressing issues.
While some critics have shared the view that NERA is misguided as ZEC is a ZANU PF machinery that will not reform and create a level the playing field.
Transform Zimbabwe President, Jacob Ngaribvume said they are going to great lengths to force ZEC to reform, “No change will come on a silver platter, we are employing all means at our disposal judicial, extra judicial we will be in the streets demonstrating and for your own information this Saturday we have organised 210 demonstrations towards the country, to force ZEC to accept reforms”
By Kudzayi Zvinavashe