Zanu PF backs bungling Zec

HARARE - In spite of widespread condemnation of the uneven electoral playing field which favours the governing party, the under-fire Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has received unconditional support from Zanu PF, in what effectively quashes any hopes for reforms ahead of the July 30 polls.

This comes as the country’s largest opposition party is piling up pressure on Zec to urgently remove imperfections threatening the credibility of the vote to be fiercely contested between President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu PF and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.

The MDC Alliance — comprising seven political parties – has lined up a series of demonstrations, starting this Wednesday, to put pressure on the electoral management body to institute measures that could produce a free, fair and credible poll.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Republic Police cleared the protest, which has since received the backing of five other opposition parties, namely the National People’s Party, the MDC led by Thokozani Khupe, the New Patriotic Front, Build Zimbabwe and MAAT Zimbabwe.

But despite the shrill cries from the opposition, Zanu PF said it is happy with the work being done by Zec, describing its rivals as faultfinders who are difficult to please.

“We are not worried about their demonstrations because they are not demonstrating against Zanu PF but Zec. It should be known that we are not a complaining party; rather we are a party of action,” Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, told the Daily News on Saturday.

“We have very clear policies and we are not cry-babies like those in the opposition. We have nothing against Zec. We are a seasoned party, we have the history of liberating the nation and we are therefore aware of our responsibilities,” he added.

Zanu PF’s rivals want Zec and its chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba, to reprint ballots for the July 30 vote, citing lack of transparency in the current process.

They have also demanded that the company printing the ballot papers be selected through an open tender and that the inspection of the ballot be done in terms of the agreed procedures.

It is also being argued that Zec allows for stakeholder participation in the storage and distribution of the ballot paper to polling stations.

Zec also stands accused of failing to avail an “accurate” copy of the voters’ roll and allowing an independent audit of the voters’ roll.

It has been further claimed that the voters’ roll released by Zec has various anomalies such as many entrants with the same identity numbers, many entrants with same identity numbers for different faces of people, non-existent entrants aged around 150 years and many entrants with non-existent houses.

Because of these and other alleged irregularities, opposition parties want Zec to either carry out the agreed positions for transparency and accountability purposes or be reconstituted.

Chigumba has dismissed these demands saying perception that Zec was a conduit for rigging polls were misplaced as the elections mother body was simply following legal provisions in handling elections.

She said it was Zec’s sole responsibility to design, print, and distribute ballot papers, adding that anyone else other than Zec demanding to be involved in designing, printing and distribution of the ballot paper would be deemed to be attempting to usurp the powers and independence of the electoral management body.

Analysts told the Daily News yesterday that the opposition must escalate its grievances to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union in the wake of what appears to be a conspiracy between Zanu PF and Zec.

This comes as the MDC Alliance’s grievances have already captured the eye of some observers, with the European Union saying Zec has a responsibility to abide by the law.

Professor of World Politics at the London School of African and Oriental Studies, Stephen Chan, said now that election observer missions are now on the ground, there was need for the aggrieved parties to hype up their concerns.

“Right now, three weeks before the election, we have entered the season of bluff and counter-bluff. With the main observer teams all now in Zimbabwe, there is no doubt intense lobbying of the group leaders — who will all be seasoned and experienced, very senior, persons,” said Chan.

“So the shrillness has got to be moderated by substantial evidence and not just accusations. There is no doubt, however, that the MDC was damaged by (former Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai’s death and, more than that, because Tsvangirai did not declare a succession process some time before his death.

“The MDC preparations were handicapped from the start. Chamisa has, since then, done well, but he needs to appear statesmanlike before the observers. Zimbabwe hasn’t had European and Commonwealth observers for a long time. I hope Chamisa has done his homework regarding the irregularities, and done his homework regarding the observer leaders to whom he is appealing,” said Chan.

Political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, said although Chamisa will not be able to stop the elections, the credibility of the whole process could be put on the line if his party pulls out of the elections.

“Chamisa or MDC Alliance cannot stop elections. We have 23 presidential candidates and 128 political parties. Chamisa is one of 23 candidates and MDC Alliance is one of 128 political parties contesting these polls. The biggest thing the MDC Alliance can do is to pull out of the elections, and this will only make the elections less credible as the Alliance is the biggest opposition party,” said Saungweme.

He added that regional bodies were now more concerned with the stability of the region rather than democracy and could endorse the elections even if they are held under a veneer of democracy.

“Other countries including Sadc and the West want stability in Zimbabwe. So if Chamisa pulls out and Mnangagwa wins other countries will be supporting Mnangagwa to make Zimbabwe stable. So Chamisa’s capacity to stop elections is not there. It will be like trying to block floodgates by open palms".

Saungweme said while some of the demands the MDC Alliance was making were reasonable, overall reform of Zec and other big reforms were undoable in two weeks.

Comments (11)

ZANU pf is scared. First they appeal against the the ruling which bars conscription of teachers and students for party functions (rallies), they are promising Chiefs and headman another round of cars after giving them some just before the elections, they are insisting on a scheme of partial or stratified rigging (unlike the wholesale rigging experienced in 2013), they are beating up "supporters" who find ED rather boring and feel the compulsion to go home before the OLD MAN can finish his speech - non of this would be happening if ED s confidence was for real....just an ordinary man's assessment.

Diaspora Proxy Vote Strategy - 9 July 2018

no one will vote for ED no one wants zimbabwe to die and rot forever

gore - 9 July 2018

Iwill vote for him nhema dzenyu, ED pfee. Makaura wanted kuchinja constitution ne back door. manzwa bhata

zana mari - 10 July 2018

ZEC is doing a fantastic job and should not be dictated to do illegal things by 128 political parties. Well done P. Chigumba and team at ZEC

ndiyani ndiyani - 10 July 2018

The rift between ZEC and MDC Alliance needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency. We are hardly 3 weeks into elections and yet the issues being used by Chamisa seem to be unresolved and both sides taking a hard stance and holding the whole nation to ransom. Can the Concourt intervene for the sake of progress and holding of elections in an environment free of accusations and counter accusations. Zimbabweans have waited too long to be tossed around and enter into another disputed election. We need to move forward now and stop this endless bickering. Chamisa and Zec please seek guidance from the Concourt NOW!!!!

Kambiri - 10 July 2018


jojo vuka - 10 July 2018

I will vote for ed

jembe - 10 July 2018

Only zanoids who have benefited in plundering our resources and murdering innocent Zimbabweans for exercising their birth right of choosing a party of their choice will vote ED. The reason why they want ED is to protect their ill gotten wealth.

Kufandada - 10 July 2018

Its laughable and a sick joke that ZANU PF believes that it could win even 10% of the national vote in a free and fair election. It even has the audacity to even pretend it can win. Look at the facts and figures. Over 80% national unemployment, 70% poverty, massive corruption and looting running into billions, an acute shortage of cash in the economy, a collapsed health system and dilapidated educational facilities, spiralling food prices the list endless. If you add the factionalism and exposure of people to violence at rallies, you begin to understand why they need a people who can manipulate the votes at ZEC. On performance alone ZANU will be lucky to garner 5% of the popular vote. Can someone tell me where these crazy figures are coming from with such a lousy track record. Even the so called rural areas you think they are not aware that the land redistribution programme has been hijacked by the Chefs while they still languish in the same TTLs that they were consigned to by the colonialists. Come on give us a break, ZANU PF members, most of you will be lucky not land in jail for crimes committed against your own people. Just pray there is no free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

Jaison Maikolu - 10 July 2018

MDC Alliance is not demanding something from the moon.They are demanding that ZEC should let all stakeholders including zanu pf know where the ballot papers are being printed,the type of material used to print and where the ballot boxes will be kept before and after the election as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe regarding transparent and credible elections.Priscilla and her gang in ZEC are nothing but cheap political prostitutes willing to be used by the Zanu pf mafia party to subvert the will of the people through calculated rigging which is so crystal clear that even kindergatten kids can actually spot the dubious plot.Most of the demands do not even cost a cent which solidifies the fact that these ZEC guys palms have greased so well such that they are prepared to to let the majority of Zimbabweans languish in abject poverty and die as a result of lack of medical services that has been killed by the current regime.They will be happy to see the escalation of crime on account most of our youths coming from universities are not employed and will end up resorting to robberies,car jackings and so on.The ZEC guys will be very happy to see more parents unable to pay school fees for their children.The long and short of it is that ZEC will be regarded as conspirators to murders,robberies,thefts,prostitution,child abuse,the list is endless.And i wonder how it feels to preside over a country with the majority of the people dislike you to be the president.Kunonzi kushaya ganda kumeso.

Luke Munya Bikaldo - 10 July 2018

ED has the momentum and he is the right man with a vision.Nelson Bambazonke Muchekadzafa Chamisa has a vision for airports in rural areas ONLY. Who will use his rural airports??

Ndiani Ndiani - 10 July 2018

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