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Madiwa rubbishes ZHRC election report

By Daniel Chigundu

Mutasa North legislator Chido Madiwa says the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) Report on the 2018 harmonised election should be dismissed as it is biased and lack seriousness.

The report heap a lot of blame on Zanu PF for various electoral malpractices during the 2018 election period and also proffer some solutions which the government must take to address them.

Some of the issues include partisan distribution of food, politicising traditional leaders, use of hate speech and abuse of state resources such as the media among others.

However various Zanu PF legislators are not happy with the report as they want the country’s main opposition party MDC Alliance to take some of the blame.

Contributing to the debate on the report, Honourable Madiwa said after going through the report she is convinced that it was written by people who are partisan.

“Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have viewed this report as one written by somebody who is very partisan yet they are supposed to be non-partisan.

“It is a report written by somebody who is biased, it is not a serious report,” she said.

However, Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure objected to Honourable Madiwa’s views adding that the commission is one of the independent commissions that were a creation of the country’s constitution.

”…The Member should withdraw her statement that the Commission is biased.  It is an independent Commission which this House must protect at any cost.

“Section 232, of the Constitution makes a provision for the establishment of this Human Rights Commission.  So, if the Honourable Member can withdraw because they are not activists,” he said.

Honourable Madiwa’s views are also shared by Bikita West legislator Elia Musakwa who is of the view that some of the incidents mentioned in the report did not take place especially those in Masvingo as he did not witness them.

“The report notes a lot of improvements on the voting system including the Biometric Voter Registration, the polling station based voting, free and fair campaign period which is highly noted. However, there are issues of concerns which are raised in the report where the report says that there was voter intimidation based on people who were requested to bring their voting slips.

“Of much concern to me is that the report lists areas like Zaka, Bikita where I come from. I was a participant in the electoral process and I am not privy to such a process where people were intimidated through voting slips but what I am aware of is that all political parties were supposed to mobilise their members to go and register.

“There is no way Zanu PF could have mobilised members of another party to go and register. When they state these areas, there are no names given. I see in most sections that they write names of whoever violated, but for such a grave issue to be noted as serious they should have names or victims of those but they are absent, which shows that it was just an opinion and not fact,” he said.-

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to be the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network as news editor for their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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