MDC, Zec row threatens polls

HARARE - The MDC Alliance yesterday gave its clearest hint to date that it would not participate in the watershed July 30 national elections unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) binds itself to running what the main opposition said would be “completely fair, transparent and credible elections”.

This comes after Zec issued a statement on Monday which the MDC Alliance took exception to — in which the under-pressure elections management body declared that nothing short of an earthquake would stop the make-or-break polls, whether the opposition’s myriad electoral demands were met or not.

In a hard-hitting statement released yesterday, the chief election agent for MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, Jameson Timba, said Zec and its chairperson Priscillah Chigumba were behaving in a manner which imperilled the holding of free, fair and credible elections — and the Alliance would not tolerate this.

“We do recognise and respect Zec’s role as a referee in this election, but it is very important that Zec understands that they must act fairly to all parties. Indeed, and as a matter of fact, the players on July 30 can stop the election by refusing to participate in a sham poll.

“In addition, the people of Zimbabwe who are tired of all the shenanigans going on can refuse to participate in the said sham election, which would have failed to meet the test outlined in our Constitution and the enabling Electoral Act, as well as Zec’s regulations.

“The sad reality though, apart from these kinds of ill-advised pronouncements by Zec, is that it has not done many things right, which is contrary to the Constitution which demands that our elections be grounded on the principles of freeness, fairness and transparency,” Timba thundered.

In statements which were viewed by critics as closing the door on the opposition and its demands for a raft of electoral reforms, Chigumba told journalists in Harare on Monday that nothing would stand in the way of the forthcoming elections, barring a major national disaster.

“Whether the candidates scrutinise the voters’ roll, whether they see any anomalies in it, whatever the anomalies are, whatever legal recourse they have will not stop an election. I want that to be very clear ... nothing stops the election.

“Let me put the law into perspective. The first thing to take note is that once the president has proclaimed the election date, there is nothing short of an earthquake that can stop the election,” Chigumba said.

Timba said Chigumba was “out of order”, further urging her to apologise to the nation for making those “reckless remarks which are not consistent with the Constitution”.

“With all due respect to Justice Chigumba, these utterances are not expected from a public officer whose task, amongst others, is to instil confidence in an electoral process by assuring the nation that preparations for the plebiscite are being done with due care and transparency.

“Zec’s efforts must therefore be directed at assuring the public that it is doing all it can to conduct a free, fair and credible election and also be seen to be doing that. That’s their duty, not anything else, period,” he said.

The opposition has, for some time now, been at odds with Zec over the delayed release of the voters’ roll, among other complaints — generating both anger and suspicions that this was a ploy to hide crucial data from the opposition.

Timba said Zec had known for five years after the last election that it needed to prepare a new voters’ roll. In addition, it also knew that it needed to allow people to inspect a provisional roll and to raise any objections that they may have at inspection stage.

“Only after this would Zec provide the final roll before the proclamation of the election date, and before the sitting of the nomination court. But nothing has been simple or proper to date.

“Yet, the credibility of any election, amongst other things, depends on the existence and availability to all players of a credible voters’ roll that is distributed timeously,” he said.

“As the representative of a presidential candidate, I was entitled to receive the national voters’ roll before the Nomination Court sat.

“To date, we do not have that roll which they said will be availed on Thursday (today). This is unacceptable.

“On Thursday, I expect to receive a biometric voters’ roll because that’s what the law demands, in addition to receiving the roll in any form one chooses — including in electronic format,” Timba said.

Meanwhile, a political analyst also told the Daily News yesterday that Zec needed to be seen to be acting in a manner which was consistent with the law, as well as the expectations of Zimbabweans and the international community alike.

“Zec can and must do more to build confidence in its processes. Sometimes, however, it appears to operate as if it has a tabula rasa (an absence of pre-determined goals) — echoing the apparent desires of the ‘new administration’.

“Thus, it has a serious credibility problem that it must  address constructively and with humility.

“Remember also that there are commissioners and senior personnel in Zec who were complicit in the outrageous endorsement of the violent June 2008 elections.

“Why are they still there? According to the recent Afrobarometer report, 40 percent of Zimbabweans also have little or no faith in the Zec.

“Thus, this mistrust is longstanding. As such, this altercation with the main opposition must be defused as a matter of urgency and every effort must be made to promote and ensure transparency and accountability,” Piers Pigou, a senior consultant at the Crisis International Group, said.

With Zimbabwe fast approaching the July 30 elections, Zec has come under the spotlight, mainly from the opposition, which claims that the national elections management body needs to be reformed ahead of the crucial polls.

On June 5, thousands of opposition supporters — mainly drawn from the MDC Alliance — marched in Harare to press for a raft of reforms which include a change of personnel at Zec, as well as transparency in the printing and distribution of ballot papers.

Next month’s elections have generated such interest among both ordinary Zimbabweans and ambitious politicians alike, that a staggering 22 opposition leaders are set to contest President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential plebiscite.

Comments (40)

Chigumba mwana wedangwe nhai wapindwa nei ?. Ma elections haasi maputi amunokanga kenyu kemalanda makadziya moto na sekuru Emmerson. Do things well for all Zimbabweans. Chamisa and Co are now on the right track. Mujuru , khupe , Sikhosana, Biti , , should all refuse to participate until the voter's roll is available to the public. That is the most special gift you can give to the nation , chero vamwe vakasazoita ma presidents vanenge vari magamba enyika.

Richard Chadonha , Chivi Growth Point. - 21 June 2018

Tinemishonga yechibhoyi inobva kuMalawi isina kana ma side effects inorapa nekubatsira matambudziko akasiyana siyana kusanganisira ma fibroids, asima, shuga, kuwedzera nguva pabonde, kuwedzera apetite,kukudza nhengo yababa mazera ripi zvaro nemimwe yakawanda. fonai pa 0714066125 kuti munzwe zvakawanda. Tino dhilivhara pachena mu Harare.

Sek Chakanyuka - 21 June 2018

Chigumba et al actions and inactions are giving the surest sign that the Crocodile is afraid, very afraid of the election. Yet another sign is the disinclination of Chief Charumbira to observe the Constitution. Zimbabweans let us pursue our freedom and independence with increased vigor. Chigumba is afriad, ED is worried and Charumbira is panicking.

Diaspora Proxy Vote Strategy - 21 June 2018

why do they need the voters role do they have structure in cell ,district and regions to know that their people are in it or not its a structureless party kungo humana humana znau pf know their people from cell level up to the top thats why they are not worried

SRK - 21 June 2018

30 july can only challange the election results not the election .kana wada kuchallanger uchachallanger kwagutu

madikizela - 21 June 2018

chamisa facking bravery in the stage- collapse drama but wetting his pants whenever he thinks about 30 July and hides behind ZEC

Django Django - 21 June 2018

mdc will forever be cry babies. kana musingade election just step aside and let Zimbabwe move on

viruss vigoroso - 21 June 2018

MDC should stop telling the referee how to blow the whistle. These elections will never be free and fair as long as MDC issues demands. ZEC should respond to the interests of all political parties not a single party

Samora - 21 June 2018

ndezvekwako izvo iwe chamisa

shamiso Dewa - 21 June 2018

zec cannot dance to your tune. remember u are the ones that kept on pushing for zec to be independent. so wats your problem now?

isheanesu marima - 21 June 2018

Please our leaders you are confusing us. Are we proceeding to the election or not? Apa tiri kunyengedzwa apa

tesely manho - 21 June 2018

xah kana warwadziwa buda mugame kwete kutinyawudza

nyasha mbuya - 21 June 2018

I see the mdc pulling out of the race and donating victory to ED. WELL WHO CARES, ZANU PF ICHANGOTONGA

mj - 21 June 2018

'Only an earthquake can stop the elections' once said the ZEC boss. This means that if ZEC dance according to the tune of MDC, it should be noted that MDC Alliance will be another form of an earthquake. Is this practical ?

Hondo - 21 June 2018

Is it possible to change our leadership. They keep blaming it on ZEC, as the lectorate we are satisfied with ZEC but muri kungoramba muchinetsana newrong enemy, Zanu Pf is our enermy

The Voice of MDC - 21 June 2018

please don't pull out, we want some bit of competition pa election LOL ZANU PF chiwororo

benjamin - 21 June 2018

pauchaona munhu wese achino vhota while ua saying ua nt participating ndopaunchaona kut ahuna level chikomana

blade - 21 June 2018

The world doesn't revolve around you. wether you are in or out, democracy will take its due course.

Pandah - 21 June 2018

Why making noise if they are confidence that they have the support of the masses. Is it democracy when you tell ZEC what to do and not to do

Nyakasikana - 21 June 2018

hahahahahahaha chamisa anongogona zvekumisa chete. first anga akamisa achida to impregnate all the women who were around him just to prove his manhood izvezvi akuda kumisa election nxa. useless

constance - 21 June 2018

funny enough no one is worried abt you participating

murenga - 21 June 2018

MDC should spent its time in preaching peace, unity and development than talking about ZEC. ZEC will never vote

Chaminuka - 21 June 2018

we are living in a sovereign state and whichever the case maybe,the concept of rule of law is central to constitutionalism.# the constitution postulates that once an election date is set ,it can not be challenged by any individual....therefore chamisa kwa gutu musi wa 30july

cde masango - 21 June 2018

hahahahahahaha chamisa amisa ... kwaaaaaaaaaaks I've just remembered the song

tavonga - 21 June 2018

MDC wants to launch another Operation Restore Legacy within ZEC. This is pure coup

Jongwe - 21 June 2018

rega tigonyatso winner zvinemutsindo xah kana shungu newe chamsa

madikizela - 21 June 2018

uyu anorwara uyu, ngasada kunyepera kuda kutora mutemo kuisa mumaoko ake....kwava kutya kwese uku kunoita ude ku pulla out election...

Advocate - 21 June 2018

i think chamisa needs to show the world that hes a mature candidate. the new political dispensationper petuated for new reforms that were being rejected by the old ZANU PF for instance European observation is here to observe the elections. other candidates are in harmony with ZEC. show some maturity and and soldier on with your political party

Flame - 21 June 2018

usuzasichaphula chamisa

chamisa tsaaaaaaaaa - 21 June 2018

Gore rino tinopedzerana. MDC is actually wasting its time. They demand reform towards elections yet they were silent 5 years dzese idzo

Chimurenga - 21 June 2018

At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves as Zimbabweans this question: Is it elections we lack in Zim or good governance and leadership ? None of all those who put up their names for presidency offers us this. Its the usual spin, pretence and chikernary by these politicians. NO HOPE FOR ZIM !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 21 June 2018

MDC Alliance have every reason to pull out of the sham elections if ZEC refuses to adhere to the reforms that are now part of the constitution.All Idiotic and blinkered Zanu pf goons are supporting the stance taken by ZEC which is way off the mark according to the dictates of our own Zimbabwean constitution.They think calling Chamisa all sorts of names will stop Mnangagwa and his henchmen from worsening the already comatose economy?If you think the polls will go ahead if MDC Alliance boycott the sham elections,then you are still in cloud cuckoo land.Wake up and smell the winds of change hovering in the vicinity.

Luke Munya Mabika - 22 June 2018

why not the elec tion should surely go on we will elect another person mai mujuru is there and other he will surely be substituted.....why is he afraid when he has all the support at hand last time he was saying people will not recognise his logo compared to khupe's logo let me ask yu pane asingazivi face yachamisa here or he just wants kungonetsa chete and nothing else kungonetsa chete chete........he is now making us the supporter doubt him very much why alll that crap instead of focusing on bringing in votes he is distributing votes to other candidates. nxaaaaa

disgusted member - 22 June 2018

you say you will conduct free and fair elections, so why not just abide by the constitution and produce the damn voters roll! if ED is sincere, he should just instruct ths zec to do what they are supposed to do!! is that very difficult??

Rigger General ED - 22 June 2018

ZANU PF has never won any elections since 2008 but they are still in power. Its a pity that a person of Justice Chigumba's assumed calibre and reputation would have the audacity to dismiss legitimate and evident concerns like missing the timelines for availing basic information like the voters roll. Clearly the absence of a voters roll is a political earthquake and one wonders what the learned judge actually means by using the analogy. I believe the Opposition is within its turf to threaten a boycott of the elections if the voters roll and other constitutionally mandated preparations as well as other requirements are not met by ZEC. It reminds of someone who was asked why they had become less objective and critical after assuming power. He answered "In my culture its not polite to speak with food in your mouth" ( Tsika yedu haibvumidze munhu kutaura kana ane chikafu mukanwa). Food for thought Justice?

Jaison Maikolu - 22 June 2018

Munangagwa naMugabe same same, they appoint these women who they tell to do as they wish. This Chigumba prostitute is a disgrace to the people of Zimbabwe. Surely She is already rigging this election but She will not prevail NO NO NO NO NO, this time around NO.

Bango P - 22 June 2018

We want to Chiwenga that the people of Zim does not fear the army, wether they use the army to Rig these elections, the people will prevail and the time is now.

Bonganilishe - 22 June 2018

One day Mnangagwa and Chiwenga will realise that they are not bigger than the people of Zimbabwe. In fact, we the people own the process, we own he nation. When the time of our salvation arrives you will find that you do not have enough mines, enough farms, enough money to buy the ordinary army guys whom you take for granted while you live in extreme luxury. A luxurious life which you seek to protect through every form of trickery, skullduggery, gunboat diplomacy and outright deception. God is watching.

Diaspora Proxy Vote Strategy - 22 June 2018

Chamisa is too much of a cry baby. He needs to be reminded that his break away Party is not the only Opposition Party this country has.

GoldFinger - 23 June 2018

ED Mnangagwa is afraid of the election. It is his wish just to force his rule without a full mandate from the Zimbabwean. ED wants just to force and rape his way through, having obtained power through a coup. If ED is very sure about himself, then his government should let loose its tentacles off ZEC. CIOs here think the Zimbabwean should give ED a chance to rule, no its the other way around, ED should give the Zimbabwean a chance to elect a leader after their own hearts. But now he is raping the Zimbabwean through manipulating ZEC to give him an advantage. ED has already failed, politics and economy has not improved since the ouster of Mugabe. The Zimbabwean is worse off than before. Many wonder why ED wants to continue raping the Zimbabwean incompetent as he is to improve their livelihood. If ED just wants to be sure how Zimbabwean actual hate and distrust him then he should just let the country have a fair election, then he will see how a rapist he really is. When he was in mugabe's government, Mnangagwa auspiced the oppression of the same Zimbabwean, and he got very rich through the way, whilst the same Zimbabwean suffered immensely under his hand. Now he wants to continue to enrich himself whilst the same Zimbabwean continue in abject poverty. The Zimbabwean needs a government that does not leave anyone behind and the Zimbabwean, given a chance is able to choose the right leader to do just that, and it is not for ED himself to just think he is the right person. No, he is very wrong, and it is indeed evil on his part to continue to rape the will of the Zimbabwean.

zanda shumba - 23 June 2018

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