HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has called for the resignation of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s top brass over the holding of illegal by-elections.
President Robert Mugabe has proclaimed that by-elections shall be held on March 27 in the Mt Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituencies.
The constituencies fell vacant following the re-appointment of Joice Mujuru, the Mt Darwin West lawmaker as Vice President in 2013 and her subsequent replacement by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former Chirimanzu-Zibagwe MP.
Obert Gutu, the MDC spokesperson said Mugabe’s promulgation was patently illegal in that Zec has not yet been legislatively empowered to undertake a holistic and broad-based national voter registration exercise that will enable it to fulfil its constitutional obligation of running free, fair and credible elections.
“As men and women of honour and integrity, the MDC calls upon all commissioners of Zec; particularly the chairperson (Rita Makarau) who is a well respected jurist, to clearly refuse to be bastardised and to have their reputation soiled by the collapsing Zanu PF regime,” Gutu said.
“To show their utmost disgust and contempt at the wicked and malevolent attempts to rope them in the messy Zanu PF factional wars, the MDC calls for the immediate resignation of all commissioners of Zec. People with a conscience and who are patriotic should not allow their names and personal dignity to be permanently soiled by purporting to conduct elections whose results are pre-determined.
“The time has now come for all peace-loving, decent and patriotic Zimbabweans to take a bold stand and send out a clear message that the political and socio-economic decay in the country should be stopped. As the Chinese proverb states, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step!”
Gutu said that Zec has hopelessly failed to carry out a meaningful, transparent and effective voter registration exercise in Zimbabwe.
“More particularly, Zec lacks adequate human, material and financial resources to undertake any form of a voter registration programme not only in these two constituencies but indeed, throughout the length and breath of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Zec is critically under-staffed and financially ill-equipped to conduct elections that will pass the test of legitimacy. Why then is the Zanu PF regime rushing to conduct by-elections in these two constituencies at a time when everything is pointing to the holding of a sham election? Why should Zec be misused and abused in order to take part in the dirty and retrogressive Zanu PF factional wars?” Gutu asked.
“They hold a very important public office whose integrity should never ever be doubted and or put into disrepute,” he said.
“It goes without saying, therefore, that the integrity and dignity of Zec commissioners should be beyond reproach. The Zanu PF regime is in terminal decline and it should never be allowed to contaminate important public offices such as the Zec and the judiciary, amongst several other critical organs of the State machinery.
Makarau recently told Parliament that Zec is now in control of the voter registration after taking over from the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s office recently.
She said this when she appeared before the Jessie Majome-chaired parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.