'ED insincere on free, fair polls'

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not sincere in his call for a free, fair and credible election as the situation on the ground points to a different direction, MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube has said.

The broader alliance of seven political parties dubbed MDC Alliance formed by the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year to take on Zanu PF has endorsed Nelson Chamisa, 40, as its presidential candidate.

Yesterday,  the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said “about 60 percent of our people who registered to vote are aged between 18 and 40.”

“It means this is a vote of young people,” Justice Chigumba said.

Ncube told the Daily News yesterday “we believe we can win the elections” but said “there isn’t any evidence on the ground to suggest sincerity” to level the playing field by the ruling administration. 

“Sincerity will involve taking actions on electoral reforms. For instance if he were sincere he would say today to Zanu PF to stop it, to stop going around demanding voter slips.

“If he was sincere he will tell (army commander) Valerio Sibanda that this time we recognise sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe. ‘You Sibanda you are the commander of the army, tell people that the previous statements by (former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commanders Constantino) Chiwenga and (Vitalis) Zvinavashe, we no longer believe that, the people have a right to select their leaders;,” Ncube said.

Zimbabwe’s former military chiefs, the late Zvinavashe and Chiwenga, now vice president, have previously declared they will only back leaders who fought in the country’s wars of liberation.

Generals in Zimbabwe’s military are veterans of the 1970s independence war, and they publicly support Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF.

Ncube said Mnangagwa as the president had a duty to assure the nation that certainly the electoral play-field will be level.

“If he was to say all these things they cost no cent. If he was sincere he would say ‘you and you stop all of these anti-free elections actions’. He would say stop sending helicopters to hover over our rallies as happened in Mutare recently as a way of intimidating people.

“I have no reason to believe any sincerity as long as he has condemned these things. It is within his power to stop them tomorrow.”

He said the electoral play field was skewed in favour of Zanu PF.

Ncube said they will ratchet up their campaigns to convince Zimbabweans to vote for change.

“We are going to campaign in the usual democratic way to sell ourselves. And that’s the only test of sincerity, not rhetorical systems,” he said.

The respected lawyer said it was through more opposition parties coming together that they will enhance their chances of winning the next elections.

“As MDC Alliance, our chances will be enhanced if we have more of other significant parties with verifiable support base but even if that doesn’t happen, we are convinced that with sufficient momentum and grasp of issues, with sufficient roots in the society for us to be able to win the elections,” he said.

Comments (7)

There is nothing sincere about ZANU as a party and those who lead it. What they want is power so that they can abuse the resources (fat of the land). Anyone who believes that a 75+yr old man who has committed nearly 40yrs to abusing power to deny the citizens their soverignity can suddenly be a champion of democracy is deluded. His ZEC appointed chairperson P Chigumbira is throwing a red herring with those stats.

Galore - 27 February 2018

Electoral reforms are necessary but pertinent issues at this stage for 18-40 years generation are realistic planned and sustainable MDC Alliance Programs for the future capable of addressing the fundamentals economic challenges. It is unfortunate that having a Presidential candidate who is 40 for the Alliance is the panacea to winning elections. The $15 billion lie saga at a campaign rally will never win a vote unless the 18- 40 years generation is foolish. I would encourage Welshman ( a law professor for that matter) to talk to his colleagues in MDC T to urgently convene an Extraordinary Elective Congress to chose the right candidate and not the current set up where there is complete chaos about the issue of power grab by the former student activist who has a selfish and uncontrollable hunger for power to achieve personal glory to restore sustainable unity within MDC T, a recipe to perform better during the forthcoming elections. Members who are not happy with the current events, if they decide to leave MDC T their constituency votes will not come anyway near the alliance even when electoral reforms are implemented. If Welshman is sincere with the coalition, he should know that allocation of seats to alliance partners is undemocratic and a recipe for disaster, there is a potential danger of losing elections because selected person might not be popular. Alliance partners aspiring members of parliament should be selected through primary elections which is the only proven measure for popularity, increasing the chance of the alliance in winning a constituency.

2018 - 27 February 2018

ED and all the other clowns in ZANU would never make that mistake of free and fair poll, they know whats good for them. Chamisa has the needed capacity to unsit this system. If only these two CIO operatives, Khupe and Mwonzora, could let this young man Chamisa bring real change to this country. If only they could stop all the selfishness. We are set for good times and civilisation as a country, we need this young progressive leadership.

Chipo Matirasa - 27 February 2018

@ 2018 you are contradicting yourself there. For there to be an alliance there needs to be a carrot. Getting additional 5-10% of the vote to clinch the presidency is worth carving out the MP seats to an alliance partner who is signed up to the same program. People rarely vote for a candidate thats why you hardly have independent MPs. They vote for a party. The primaries held dont determine the popularity of an individual amongst the electorate they just tell you who a small group prefer to stand. Ultimately all people who are fed up with ZANU misrule need to think long term and not just about the next 5yrs. Removing ZANU PF is the first and neccessary step to reforming Zimbabwe and shaping it however you want it. Failure to do that then everything else is pointless. Some people are pinning their hopes on 2023, i will tell you now if Zanu is in charge then the democratic space you have right now will be firmly shut and the international community will have long moved on. Remember countries dont have friends but interests.

Galore - 27 February 2018

@ Chipo Matirasa those kind of aspersions are not helpful nor progressive in the slightest, is there proof that Khuphe and Mwonzora are CIOs? That is the same label that was used on Welshman and others who had in time past differed on principle with Morgan's decisions. Khuphe and Mwonzora raise valid questions/issues/concerns because the constitution of MDC-T has been deliberately bastadised to create this ambiguity. Its a perfect opportunity for Chamisa to now showcase his leadership and silence the ZANU attacks that will be coming if he just bulldozes through without regard to constitutionalism. The last thing he wants is to challenge ZANU in an election where his legitimacy is questioned and has to keep defending it. The only cure for this short of Khuphe, Mwonzora, Mudzuri annointing Chamisa is to call the extra-ordinary congress in March, allow free participation and creation of a team around whoever is the new president based on merit. Politicians have a big ego and they all want to lead so a good leader needs to manage that and still get the best out of them.

Galore - 27 February 2018

Munonyengedzwa vana chamisa havana chiro they will not win an election.There are 3 this you must have to win elections the first one is power/what institution of power do you control....money/economic power and Gods power and all this power chamisa does not have any....he is trying to create a problem which we do not need need again....to us BOB was the problem and BOB is gone we should conetrate on building our country vana chamisa machancers anopinza mhepo mumusha

dofo - 28 February 2018

With the little that ED has done this far, I have a feeling that it would be best for Zimbabwe to give him the mandate. They know where they messed up so let them correct that.

Icho - 19 March 2018

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