Chamisa in all-out war with Chigumba

HARARE - MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has laid the grounds for an all-out war with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) which he has given a week to agree to negotiations.

Chamisa also blasted the electoral body’s chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba, at a press conference in Harare yesterday, saying she was “arrogant,” and that she has failed to run Zec.

“One of the biggest challenges that we have had with Chigumba unlike (former Zec chairperson Rita) Makarau’s time is that Chigumba is very arrogant. She thinks that she is the author of law, the alpha and omega of wisdom. She is not, and she must listen.

“She must know that she is being paid by the taxpayers’ money — myself included. She must do things in a manner that satisfies the minimum demands not to come and be arrogant. Arrogance usually walks hand in hand with ignorance. We don’t want her to be one of those unfortunate circumstances in the history of Zimbabwe,” said Chamisa.

The MDC Alliance leader is piling pressure on Zec, saying the electoral management body must implement a raft of administrative reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

In the main, these are to do with the printing, storage and distribution of ballot papers.

Chamisa has taken up his grievances to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), hoping they would be attended to before the July 30 polls.

Yesterday, he gave Zec a week within which they should meet to discuss their objections.

“We are utilising this whole week for that process (negotiations) hoping that there is going to be an understanding, particularly on the issue of ballot papers. We know what we are talking about. The horse has not yet bolted,” he said.

“We will not be stampeded into an election which is not an election. We will not be frog-marched into an election. We don’t want to go into a fiction, a predetermined movie. It’s a betrayal to those that died for one man, one vote.”

The war of words between Zec and the MDC Alliance seems to have drawn the attention of The Elders, a group of prominent people who use their collective experience and influence to try and achieve peace and justice around the world.

Led by respected former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, The Elders will be in Zimbabwe from tomorrow to July 21, to “meet political leaders and support all actors working for free, fair and transparent elections, an inclusive transition and a brighter future for the country”.

Chamisa also said that the country was now in a crisis and they have reached a stalemate with Zec, which needs the intervention of the international community.

“We are writing to Sadc to request an extraordinary summit to deal with this dispute. As far as we are concerned, this is a dispute. We have a dispute, stalemate, a crisis.

“We cannot possibly have an election if we do not know where is the ballot paper, who printed the ballot paper and the quality of the ballot paper. I have no evidence that the ballot paper was printed in Zimbabwe. I wish I had evidence, which makes it a very serious issue.

“We have hit a stalemate. I have sent a signal to (the African Union) AU and Sadc. In the interest of dialogue, I have requested an extraordinary meeting with Zec chairperson on behalf of the Alliance and, if Chigumba refuses, we are requesting to have a meeting with commissioners so that we articulate our issues.

“We are also going to engage Zanu PF if they are genuine that they are also an equal player. They must have same concerns because I am sure they have not seen the ballot paper unless if they are represented by Zec, they do not have any concern. If the dialogue fails we are going to unleash our instruments of peace.”

He added that he will not repeat the same mistake done by his predecessor the late Morgan Tsvangirai of going into elections without electoral reforms.

Last week, the MDC Alliance party raised alarm that postal voting by police officers at Ross Camp in Bulawayo was done under the supervision of police commanders, in the absence of election agents and Zec officials in a bid to rig the upcoming vote for the ruling Zanu PF.

Chigumba said according to the law, there was no role for candidates, political party representatives or observers in postal voting.

This comes soon after Zec has been smarting from the scandal over leaked data that enabled the ruling party to send personalised, unsolicited campaign messages to potential voters’ mobile phones.

The opposition said the data leak “proves beyond reasonable doubt collusion between (the election commission), Zanu PF and mobile networks” given that it was denied the voter register by the commission.

Zec staunchly denied sharing voters’ data with the ruling party.

Chamisa, who is expected to provide the sternest test to Mnangagwa in the July 30 harmonised elections, has held multiple demonstrations against Zec in recent months — in a bid to force the national elections management body to accede to a raft of demands ahead of the crucial polls.

Chief among these demands is the transparent printing of ballot papers.

“We have raised 10 issues which were our demands for free and fair elections, we scale down, we now have two flash points or red lines which is the issue of ballot paper and voters’ roll. These are so crucial that we can’t even negotiate,” Chamisa said.

“Chigumba was saying as far as they are concerned, it’s water under the bridge, now there is neither water nor any bridge as far as we are concerned. She is mistaken if she thinks that this issue is going to be a sleeping dog. In fact, these dogs are going to bark not only bark but bite very soon because we want a free and fair election. We are not going to boycott the election, winners don’t boycott.”

Chamisa also added that Zanu PF has started intimidating people in the rural areas and is not keen on a free and fair election.

Meanwhile, Chamisa said Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is now his “disciple” after he said the government must construct spaghetti roads.

Comments (17)

hardtalk chaiyo chaiyo iyi. ndafarira kutaura uku kusingaputsi ukama. calling a spade a spade

sinyo - 18 July 2018

kkkkkk shame on you people ko iro ballot paper ndiyo vore here veduwee do u know how many people in your party who registered to vote and do u know the people in your own party mfana CHAMISA a party u start form a cell ,a branch,district and so forth with registers to that effect muchiziva kuti tine vanhu vedu vangani nyangwe mukachengeteswa maballot box paper achooo u still go down CHAMISA .

S.R.K - 18 July 2018

Yes printing of that ballot paper has to be transparent. Last time pane maths dzakaitika nebepa iroro. Ko kungoti zvese zvingoitwa pachena zvakaipei? Aaaaa Veduwee zvemasecret pachinhu cheruzhinji kweteka!

Yaakovu Musasa - 18 July 2018

Chamisa said he will pull out from the voting. What is he waiting for now? Even America is no longer interested in him. No where to go now.

Ndiani Ndiani - 18 July 2018

wicked and un-scientific theory yenyu yekutya kuti paper rakachinja X yakaiswa paTsvangirai yaka chinja ikaenda pana Mugabe. Not surprising you will get haunted nemumvuri wako.

G M - 18 July 2018

Kana zvisingaite munhu akangwara anoregedza ma elections acho zvopfuura. At 40 you are very young and have years ahead of you to perfect the system. Ndiwo ma ballot papers ekupedzisira mu zimbabwe we hope. Zvinhu zvese zvichange zvava electronic from dec 2018 , kana kwampandawana vanogona kuvhota on whatever issue kana kutora minda yekupa vanhu vasina from the Crown and Native Lands then votumira ma plans eminda. Izinye izinto kungcono umuntu ayekele nxa kuyehlula.

Duke of Matebele , - 18 July 2018

Veduwe, regai kutyityidzira vanhu, you talk of cell, branch, district who was born yesterday? your statement is just rubbish. 1980 zanu yakanga yaita establish zvese izvo rinhi. Don't even go there because we were there. You know that this has nothing to do with the above, this has much to do with day light rigging of elections, zanu knows that its easy to steal the election because zec is zanu, its true. Kana bofu chairo riri kutozviziva kuti zanu imbavha

nhemacena - 18 July 2018

anonzi prisira chigamba chigamba chezanu

josphat mugadzaweta - 19 July 2018

Priscila Chigumba has become a Zanupf strategist and political commissar simultaneously. The law does forbid her from availing the voters' roll to the opposition nor from being transparent on the ballot paper issue. These are basic and logical demands which are allowed by the law. Why is she resisting? Does she have something to hide.? Does she intent to use for rigging?

Mavhu Mavhu - 19 July 2018

where was Chamisa and what was he doing the whole 5 year term that Mugabe was ruling. MDC played a very pivotal role and helped to draft the constitution but surely they would have by now sorted out this electoral reform issue well ahead of time. Not to mention the fact that he was one of the people who did the initial selection of the Zec board. Why then didn't he also plant our own MDC people there so they would be a balance within the board? He is acting childish and immature. In my eyes he has failed our veteran democratic leader Mr. Tsvangirai, he is falling apart and Zanu is tearing right into him.Instead of concentrating on the needs of the people he is focusing on himself, what Chamisa wants, Chamisa gets, acting like such a spoilt brat throwing a temper tantrum at the supermarket. He started campaigning well ahead of the Zanu and never at one point did he have issues with Zec. Things are falling apart for this young man and he knows it. He doesn't inspire confidence in investors, business people, etc. the very ones he needs money from in order to revive the economy. Leadership requires one with a steady hand, mature and dignified. I have lost confidence in his leadership, even to this date he has no clear cut organisational stucture within his ranks, it instills fears that he is working with the former president and G40. So coincidental that a twitter message from Jonathan Moyo about Zec has started all this all out war on Zec? One then wonders who is he giving his ear to? And insists that as long as i have one vote that's all that matters and it doesn't matter where it comes from. But we all know the dirty dealings of politics, nothing comes for free. So that when he wins he will give them posts in his govt. As long as Bob and G40 are supporting him and he chooses to sleep with the enemy, even for a vote, just imagine what shall become of him? I shudder at the thought.

Sharrie - 19 July 2018

Phambili ngoKHAMISA we are ready...they want to kill us....they have thei guns oiled to fire at us....but we are already dead we lose nothing...let them move first GOD is watching

malume - 19 July 2018

Ko nhai vanhuwee icho chambonetsa pa BALLOT PAPER chiiko? Mari maiti purintira pa bond paper chairo but BALLOT PAPER roda zvekubva kunyanzvi...heee designer akati two pages hadziiite because harizopinda pamuromo we Ballot Box kana rapetwa, pedzezvo Chigumba uya oti ma Ballot Box takaita recycle tega akare aya...haaaa. Ko makadii kuita muromo unokwana folded BALLOT. Ko kuzoita design inoita kuti IDHI (Amini) ave pa Top ye page 2 zvakanetsa kudamburira pa 12/13 here page 2 yotanga Manyika or Mariyacha. Haaa ZEC sooo

Manhanga - 19 July 2018

Zanu pf apologists never cease to amaze me.They are like blunt weapons which hack and tear instead of cutting smoothly.Some stupid idot is suggesting that Chamisa is sitt young if he is not satisified,he can wait to contest another day since age is still on his side.I want to tell this idiotic fellow and and like minded Zanunoids that all this transparency noise is not about Chamisa but about the need to have credible elections whose results can be accepted by every any level headed person.Up to now all these zanu pf goons do not have any explanation as to why the election results of 2008 took almost two months to be released.Thats exactly the same reason why people are now more cleverer and want their vote to be respected even if their preffered candidate looses in the elections.All you zanu pf thugs can bark all you want but it will never change the stance that people have taken led by the MDC alliance.Zanu pf has the democratic right to compete against itself if it so wishes.And on the same note the zanu pf president need to be reminded that the voice of the people is not always the voice of God.What people desire is not always what God wants,so for your own good stop using the God's name blasphemously.

Luke Munya Mabika - 19 July 2018

Some of these people against Chamisa are also burning both sides of the candle.Vari kutotamburawo sevamwe . Let everything be in the open and allow the best man to win end of story.What Chamisa is asking for is not very difficult. Just prove that you are transparent and do the wishes of all participants because as it is only ZANU PF has no problem with ZEC. Very funny indeed.

chimuti - 19 July 2018

ed pfe musango.Chamisa kumberi

chingamira - 19 July 2018


Matebelewarrior - 19 July 2018

"Chigumba is arrogant...........". Fellow Zimbabweans, and political leaders the person of Chigumba and the body of ZEC are products of an ARROGANT LAW (constitution). This is the same law used by Ian Smith Government to supress the majority. We applaud ourselves for crafting a new constitution in 2013 however there are other laws that need to be aligned to the new constitution. This past parliament failed the nation by not working tirelessly to aligned the old into the new. The ruling party was clever in having the status quo operating. What we need are policymakers that are keen to work towards a Zimbabwe full constitution unlike the half one that is at play. While we may hate the person, without the amendmet in parliament, we are hating for nothing. Finally may our eyes be open and be able to see the true arrogance in our laws. Zanu PF would call for a caucus meeting of their MPs whenever there was a bill to be introduced. A caucus to vote for the bill. The Opposition Alliance should be working towards aligning the constitution not "kudya". God Blessings.

Mufundisi - 19 July 2018

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