Zec bids to 'neutralise' protests

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has invited opposition political parties to an all stakeholders indaba which they say is an attempt to stop them from holding demonstrations on electoral reforms.

Curiously, the indaba will be held on September 15 — a day before the expiry of a contentious police ban which barred pro-democracy and opposition political parties from holding demonstrations in Harare for two weeks.

The ban expires on Friday, September 16.

“Zec is inviting two representatives from your organisation to a stakeholders’ meeting scheduled for 15 September, 2016,” said the national elections’ management body in its invitations to the political parties.

“The meeting is one of Zec’s initiatives to continuously engage with

valued stakeholders and to discuss issues raised in their last meeting held in May 2016.”

Eighteen opposition political parties have coalesced under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), to demand reforms from Zec whose secretariat is accused of taking orders from Zanu PF.

The parties want sweeping changes to the current electoral laws and are bidding to have Zimbabwe introduce a biometric voters’ roll in the 2018 elections.

Nera convener Didymus Mutasa said the Zec stakeholders meeting will not stop them from pressing ahead with their protests over electoral reforms.

“Only two members of each party are going to attend the meeting and it’s a futile exercise on their (Zec) part,” Mutasa told the Daily News.

“Few people from Nera will attend this meeting while the rest are going to express their views through demonstrations.”

Last week police invoked Statutory Instrument 101A that bans demonstrations in central Harare. This occurred a few hours before the opposition political parties were to hold a mega demonstration in the capital.

The ban followed bloody clashes in the capital on August 26 when police defied a court order and bludgeoned thousands of protesters who had gathered under the auspices of Nera.

Zec has been accused of “packing” its secretariat with Zanu PF functionaries whom the opposition political parties accuse of manipulating ballot results to entrench President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF rule.

In 2008, Zec withheld the result of the presidential election for six weeks in which Mugabe lost to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who fell short of commanding an overall lead.

Tsvangirai was forced to go into a presidential run-off which he pulled from days before polling citing massive intimidation and violence against his supporters.

Mugabe went on to hold an election in which he was the sole candidate but it was dismissed as sham by the international community.

Comments (8)

Eh? What a load of rubbish from ZEC, they now realize they're clinging on by their finger nails. Valued stakeholders? my ass - if the stakeholders had value you would announce results in time and expose all cheating/rigging but you have failed there. Out with you/

Sagitarr - 7 September 2016

When Jonathan Moyo said openly that Zanu PF would never reform itself out of power, it was a clear admission that the electoral system is rigged to favour Zanu PF??? Why should there be questions after such a candid admission????

MR COOPER - 7 September 2016

First of all ZEC commissioners must resign and new commissioners appointed. Those running elections in Zimbabwe are aligned to Zanu Pf and therefore you can expert credibility from such a scenario. What is it that ZEC wants to talk about in absence of reforms?. Reforms are the way forward. The playing field has to be level, we are tired of elections were Zanu pf sings of mandates which the people never gives them. I am just ashamed of election processes in this country. The people that run these election always have a pre-concieved motive and that defeats the purpose of an election. I remember in Masvingo South when i was a stouch Zanu supporter, Zvobgo would bring stuffed ballot boxes in the middle of the night, replace and take the real boxes and throw them into Mutirikwi river. Thats called Zanu winning ways. When they tell you they have won, that is how they win.

batanai - 7 September 2016

This is no time for talks. We need action. Just respond to the request of electoral reforms - that's the only way forward.

Pythias Makonese - 7 September 2016

we want a new voters roll with living pple, mgabe zimbabwe is not yoz usubukwe kakhulu

safa ngendlala - 8 September 2016

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prof esso - 8 September 2016

So Jonso has taken stupidity to brand new heights here. 1. Admitting that fair, free and just elections will tilt things against the current govt. 2. the promise of aligning electoral laws to the constitution was not bona fide. 3. Zanu PF does not want Zimbabweans to freely express themselves. Ask yourself why are these vampires so devilish.

Sagitarr - 8 September 2016

The Zimbabweans, as i am also, are expected by God to have a unity of purpose not forced unity at all. Peace should benefit all the classes of people including working class and the upper class. Unity and peace really cannot come as a result of force, it will be theoretical then. Thank you, May God bless my beloved Zimbabweans

brian - 10 September 2016

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