Chamisa rejects Zec's conditions for talks

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has been accused of attempting to manipulate a forum of presidential candidates that meets weekly to dismiss Nelson Chamisa’s demands for administrative electoral reforms.

This comes after it emerged that the under pressure Zec has now said through acting chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana it is prepared to discuss with Chamisa a raft of administrative electoral reforms he is demanding but only in the Multi-Party Liaison Committee — a structure for conflict management created  by Zec after the close of the Nomination Court.

Chamisa has told Zec the Multi-Party Liaison Committee has already agreed with him and there was no need for another meeting. He also argued that the enforcement of his individual rights cannot be dependent upon the choice by other presidential candidates to either claim or waiver their own rights.

He fears a new meeting of the Multi-Party Liaison Committee could be manipulated to reject his demands because he suspects some of the presidential candidates are not genuine opposition but a creation of the ruling Zanu PF.

This comes as the Daily News learnt yesterday that most of the opposition political parties agree with Chamisa’s demands and actually came up with a common position at a meeting held on July 9 in Kadoma.

Representatives of the MDC Alliance, Joice Mujuru’s People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC), Elton Mangoma’s Coalition of Democrats (Code),  Nkosana Moyo’s Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA), Noah Manyika’s Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) and Thokozani Khupe’s MDC all endorsed Chamisa’s demands at the Kadoma meeting.

According to a document titled Common position of the opposition political parties and candidates, the parties resolved: “We the undersigned political parties and independent candidates contesting the Zimbabwe Presidential Election 2018 have lost the trust that Zec can carry out a free fair and credible election. Zec needs to do everything that ensures they deliver a free fair and credible election.”

However, that document was not signed by presidential candidates Violet Mariyacha of  UDM, Blessing Kasiyamhuru of ZIPP, Joseph Makamba Busha of Freedom Congress, Ambrose Mutinhiri of NPF, Lovemore Madhuku of NCA, Johannes Chiguvare of PPP, Bryn Mteki an independent, Peter Harry Wilson of DOP, Tendai Munyanduri T of New Patritic Front,  William Tawonezvi Mugadza of Bethel Christian Party, Divine Hove of NAPDR, Hlabangana Kwanele of RPZ, Peter Gava Mapfumo of UNDF, and Melbah Dzapasi of 1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe and Daniel Shumba of UDA.

According to confidential resolutions contained in the document, the parties jointly came to the conclusion Zec must immediately release the correct voters’ roll as required by law.

“Zec to print the hard copies that will be used on voting day and allow an audit of this hard copy,” the resolution says.

The parties also resolved that printing of the ballot must be carried out afresh in a transparent manner.

The parties also agreed that the design and printing of the presidential ballot paper must show fairness based on uniformly applied principles founded on common sense.

The parties have protested that the layout of the presidential ballot was designed to benefit Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa. Instead of using the traditional single column for all 23 presidential candidates, which would have resulted in Mnangagwa’s name appearing somewhere in the middle, Zec had opted to use two columns, with the first column with 14 candidates, resulting  in Mnangagwa appearing at the top in the second column which contains only nine candidates.

The parties meeting in Kadoma also demanded to mark the ballot papers using pens and pencils and observe the reaction over 12 hours.

“There must be agreement on the mechanisms and modalities for stakeholder participation in the transparent and secure distribution of the ballot paper to polling stations,” the common position document says.

“The ink to be used on polling day must be tested for indelibility. Election residue, in the event of an election, should be kept in separate boxes for President, House of Assembly and Council.”

On indelible ink, the parties said there is need for an assurance that the indelible ink will not be easily washed away.

“Tests need to be conducted and confidence built around the distribution,” the parties said.

The parties noted that in 2013, a good number of polling officers were known Zanu PF officials, close relatives of Zanu PF candidates and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives.

“In the spirit of transparency and increasing trust, the names and stations of the polling officers should be released by 16th of July and allow a time for objections,” the parties agreed.

Chamisa’s chief election agent Jameson Timba told the Daily News yesterday: “There is consensus amongst contending parties that Zec must be transparent on issues concerning the ballot; its storage and distribution.  In my view, if any party is opposed to transparency then it must be benefiting from the opaque processes.”

Silaigwana in his letter to Timba advised: “We respectfully advise that the full Zec has agreed that your requests are best dealt with at our Multi-Party Liaison Committees in order to build consensus with the other political parties that are going to the election.

“In the absence of a legal framework to guide us on how best to accommodate your request, a consensus approach is next best alternative.”

Timba has since replied to Silaigwana highlighting that Zec was attempting to reinvent the wheel by convening another Multi-Party Liaison Committee to consider Chamisa’s demands.

“There was consensus amongst the parties in the Multi-Party Liaison Committee on these issues and a specific response given officially by Commissioner (Qhubani) Moyo wherein he stated the following: the issues raised required administrative action; he conceded that the requests for transparency do not offend the law but however the Commissioners present could not give an ultimate decision without first reporting to the full Commission; that he would formally take up these issues with the full Commission and convene a Multi-Party Liaison Committee in the coming week ending July 6,2018 to communicate the feedback from the Commission.  This has not happened,” Timba said in his letter, adding “what is now left is the political will to implement these issues.” 

He said they were only agreed to meet Zec to “discuss and agree the modalities of implementation of these issues which had already been formally put before the Commission in a statutory meeting of the Multi-Party Liaison Committee and in the meeting between myself and the chairperson of the Commission and the engagement with Commissioner Moyo.”

Comments (10)

The Movement of Democratic Change has finally morphed into The Movement of Delusional Complainers. Stop complaining and put your energy into selling your vision to the electorate.

order - 18 July 2018

@Order, ita seune order nhaika. there is no one candidate selling their vision like Nelson Chamisa. im sure his rallies are over 60 now, and you ED im sure his are under 20. let the playing field be fair, wakambogerwa usipo here iwe.

me - 18 July 2018

order, You need to put yourself in order first .You do not seem to understand the effects of an election whose results are unacceptable. Free and fair elections will make Zimbabwe great again.

chimuti - 18 July 2018

All you can do is to trail ZEC, no development, no sustainable plan everything spagheti

Uncle Sam - 18 July 2018

ZEC and Chigumba must understand that running a free, fair and credible (undisputable) election is NATIONAL SECURITY REQUIREMENT. They must stop playing with our security and our future. If they can't do the job, they must resign!

Mavhu Mavhu - 19 July 2018

To all that support ED please stop using stupid excuses like what did MDC T did during the GNU. I have only one question for you all Zanu pf supporters where was Mnangagwa and Chiwenga in the past 38 years.? Why did they resolve to use tankers, guns to force Mugabe to resign. Was there no zanu pf constitution and in those 38 years why did they not craft laws that was going to enable them to take power zvisina noise. Haikona kungoukura. Ma zanu pf munondishamisa munoita kunge vanhu vasina kukwana

gggggg - 19 July 2018

And in one the dailies today Priscilla has admitted that their BVR data base was hacked and the registered voters information was splashed on the internet.What is worse to go give the information to the competing candidates than to let it get splashed on the internet where anyone can access it?All those security concerns by the yellow bone lady was just a case of pulling wool into people's eyes.This explains why the smart on face but careless in thinking Priscilla was reluctant to provide the voters roll with the all the information including photos of the registered voters.ZEC and Zanu pf guys are a very pathetic lot who are prepared to subvert the will of the peolpe trough manipulating the ballot papers and the voters roll.They thought the absence of violence would blinker the opposition into jumping in elections whose results they would have stolen well before the elections.This time manyangira yaona.Its either you comply to the opposition demands or there are no elections at all.Handei tione.

Luke Munya Bikaldo - 19 July 2018

@order if you were given 2kg of sugar just go and give your family unyerere. dont just write for the sake of writing, the playing field is not even and the people of Zimba bwe are suffering because of these people called zanus. the economy is next to nothing and youreyes cant see that, this dont need a scientist from the moon to explain to you , only that small minds dont see behind the durawall thats what you are !!!!!!

chris - 19 July 2018

Why is it hard for ZEC to consider the concerns of other contestants? They hide behind the law but is not the law made by the people and for the people. If laws are against the will of the people, then, to hell with that law.

bkm - 19 July 2018

We cant wait for new Zimbabwe according to president Chamisa ' The Great Zimbabwe...Please Chigumba stop it!!

ndicho - 19 July 2018

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