Zim's parliamentarians divided on Madagascar vote

HARARE - Legislators were  yesterday divided along political lines in the National Assembly while debating a motion on Madagascar elections.

Thokozani Khupe, MDC vice president, and Zanu PF MP Oliver Mandipaka, presented a report of the findings of the Zimbabwe Parliament Observer Team that visited Madagascar last month.

Khupe narrated the positive lessons they had learnt from the elections, including allowing  door-to-door voter registration and  that every person who had turned 18 was automatically deemed to be a registered voter.

She said the island nation had a population of 22 million, with 8 million registered voters.

“We have a lot of positive things we learnt from Madagascar on how to conduct elections and we want to emulate them when holding free and fair elections that are not associated with vote rigging,” Khupe said.

She said all political parties were campaigning freely, addressing the same crowds simultaneously, peacefully, without any incidences of political violence among the different supporters.

Khupe  urged legislators to adopt some of the electoral systems in Madagascar.

However, Zanu PF MPs led by Joseph Chinotimba refused to endorse the report, arguing the country had nothing to learn from Madagascar. He said Zimbabwe held free and fair elections on July 31 that were won by Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe and endorsed by Sadc and the African Union.

“Madagascar is a country that is known for coups and political violence,” Chinotimba said.

“We cannot learn anything from them in holding elections as we did it peacefully last year and we defeated MDC.”

Madagascar’s new president Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who won the first elections since a coup in 2009, took office last month but his inauguration was marred by an explosion that killed one person and wounded dozens after the ceremony.

The former Finance minister won the presidential election on December 20, the first in the country since the 2009 coup that plunged Madagascar into a political crisis that has sharply slowed economic growth and deepened poverty.

Jean Louis Robinson, who was defeated by Rajaonarimampianina, has pledged  to organise and unite the island state’s fractured opposition.

Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly  had a difficult time in bringing order to the debate as the legislators were shouting at each other.

Parliament adjourned to next week as the debate on the Madagascar report is expected to continue before legislators can adopt or reject it.

Comments (3)

Kana mdc ichiti the Madagascar elections were free and fair chingangodaro chiri chokwadi !

Chimwala chome - 7 February 2014

“We cannot learn anything from them in holding elections as we did it peacefully last year and we defeated MDC.” Ayaz Chinoz

chatunga - 8 February 2014

ZanuPF has nothing to learn from a free and fair election. This is Chinos ' view.

Maita Manyuka - 10 February 2014

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