ZEC a threat to free and fair elections.
MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa held a press conference at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House to address his concerns on the pre-election period and how intends to deal with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure free and fair elections on 31 July 2018.
By Rumbidzai Nyabako
The press conference was a full house with media representation that included BBC, Aljazeera, Star FM, ZBC, SABC, ZIFM, Herald, Bustop TV, Sly Media and DW among others.
Of notable attendance were Makomborero Haruzivishe, Morgan Komichi, James Maridadi, Gift Ostallios Sibiza, Douglas Mwonzora, Munacho Mutezo, Welshman Ncube and Jacob Ngarivhume.
Nelson Chamisa in his opening remarks expressed his gratitude towards the media for attending the meeting and he also assured that it is not his wish to be constantly at loggerheads with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces but he guaranteed that this will be the last time.
Chamisa added that his main concern was the ballot scandal that he and his members have discovered. He testified that they have conducted 49 rallies across the country which cannot be compared to ED’s lesser rallies due to old age. He also went on to acknowledge international observers to witness the transfer of power which will be in his favour similar to Ghana’s case.
He highlighted that this coming election will be a focal point in the history of history and he urged the citizens to correctly choose the path they want as it contributes to the betterment of the country. Chamisa declared that he is not going to betray the fallen heroes who fought for one man one vote basis. He also admitted that the challenges that are being encountered are far bigger than partisan politics and he went on to express the need for unity in order to achieve a national vision.
Chamisa regretted the fact that there are forces that are hindering a free and fair election which s the most important aspect of national success. He added that without stability and legitimacy, the revival of the nation cannot be achieved. He also described ZEC as unwilling to show their credibility towards the 2018 elections. He also notified that he appealed to ED for free and fair elections but his efforts were shrugged off. He also added that ZEC must be a credible referee. Chamisa declared that if Zimbabwe is open for business it should also be open for credibility, free and fair elections. Chamisa also said that MDC Alliance also wanted an open and transparent ballot paper printing.
He also pointed out that Zimbabwe’s electoral history has been characterized by manipulations and he went to identify major issues that ZEC is not complying with
- Voter’s roll with pictures.
- Independent inspection of ballot paper printing.
- ZEC allowed the state media to tarnish opposition political parties.
- Abuse and manipulation of rural folks and traditional leaders.
Chamisa went on to say that if the ZEC Chairperson Chigumba had said that if only an earthquake could stop the elections, he was going to cause that earthquake if his demands were not implemented immediately. Chamisa accused ZEC of using the law selectively and he urged the board to satisfy the needs of all aspiring candidates. He also pointed out that ZEC refused to provide a voters roll to the late founding leader of MDC Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and he said that this time around MDC Alliance will not allow history to repeat itself.
Chamisa requested to see the voters roll in good and verifiable order. He urged ZEC to desist from taking Zimbabweans for granted. He also highlighted that if ZEC is not capable of handling the elections Chamisa will ask AU and SADC to take over. He added that ZEC is not Zanu Pf and he also accused ED of not complaining because he is well informed and vested with the proceeding at ZEC. Chamisa went to declare that there will be no elections if there is no verifiable and agreed upon ballot paper as he made remarks that Zimbabwe is a country and not a Mnangagwa or Chiwenga Private Limited Company.
Chamisa said that he was happy to hear that the Zimbabwe Defence forces (ZDF) were going to respect the constitution no matter who won the upcoming elections but went on further and challenged the ZDF to walk the talk. Chamisa added that credible elections are only achieved through a credible ballot paper.
Chamisa’s demands to ZEC & ED
He also pointed out that nothing is going to stop them from pursuing a free and fair election and that they are ready to face any consequence that comes with attaining this goal. He made demands which include :
- unilateral withdrawal of alleged illegal and sham ballot paper,
- all political parties have to agree on the storage of the ballot paper,
- ZEC has to hold an emergency meeting with all political parties,
- an urgent meeting with Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (ED),
- nationwide stakeholder consultation and that his party is going to dispatch special advisors countrywide to engage the electorate.
Chamisa on ZDF and mocking Nkosana Moyo
On claims that ZDF has deployed the army into rural areas, Chamisa was stern that the army has not provided evidence proves otherwise. He challenged ZDF to bring to book people masquerading as the army and that the army must deal with such people.
ON whether the army would accept him as a leader in his response he mentioned that they have always saluted him as an elected Member of Parliament and also that the army is the main part of his plan as they need improved working conditions and remuneration.
When asked whether he is going to apologize to ZEC if he wins he dodged the question saying that he would have won through overwhelming support. Chamisa went on to mock Nkosazana Moyo’s party Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA) by sarcastically asking for its name and later saying that APA is not a party which left the crowd laughing.
Chamisa on Robert Mugabe
On the allegation that he met Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Gabrial Mugabe Chamisa expressed that he does not wish to him and that maybe they can only meet after his presidential victory on 31 July 2018.
Chamisa on Government of National Unity with ED
On the allegations that there is going to be a Government of National Unity (GNU) with ED Chamisa said he has not deceived anyone and that people should not mistake his openness for dialogue and he added that he has never engaged ED. On the accusations of banter talking and making useless threats and that ZEC described him as trivial, Chamisa answered that anyone was free to believe what they want, him or ZEC.
In Chamisa’s last remarks he was pleased and grateful to have been given a chance to run for the presidency and that he is going to use instruments of peace to achieve his demands and that violence is not part of his agenda.