by Virimayi Chidembo
THE MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa is it again as yesterday during a press statement, it outlined outrageous demands which try to usurp the constitutional mandate of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), with only a few weeks left to the watershed 2018 harmonized elections.
What the young man needs to know is that ZEC is an autonomous body which has the mandate to run elections in Zimbabwe in terms of the law of the country. There are over 55 political parties registered with ZEC and with 23 Presidential candidates set to lock horns on the 30 July this month.
Who is Chamisa, to be the only one barking instructions to ZEC, in a football match teams abide to the rules of the game from the referee, one cannot then aspire to be both the player and the referee.
Chamisa is making ridiculous demands, how can he cry foul on how candidates should be tabulated on the voting slip. It should not be lost on the electorate that the MDC Alliance has among its rank and file prominent lawyers who should curb these childish tendencies unless they are setting him for a fall, which some have indicated.
One of the demands is that ZEC should allow political parties to observe the printing process and have joint security of the ballot papers. ZEC has already gone out of its way to invite parties to observe the printing but still Chamisa wanted to be the one operating the machine. Where in the world has political parties been allowed to secure the ballot papers before an election? Only in Chamisa’s world.
By its nature, the issue of printing of election material is of high security concerns hence they could not go beyond certain boundaries in the printing press. These ludicrous demands have exposed the Alliance that it has foreseen defeat in the horizon and they want to call the credibility of the electoral process into question.
Previously they used to allege that Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede was the problem. They demanded a new voters’ roll under a new administration, which they have got. They demanded the setting up of an independent electoral commission, which they got and they were even involved in the selection of the commissioners through parliament. They demanded polling station-based voting, which they got. They demanded access to public media, ZBC is currently calling for all candidates (presidential and independent) to submit their programmes which are free from hate speech.
It does appear that the more concessions they extract from ZEC the more preposterous their demands become. These antics are damaging to their brand as voters won’t take them seriously or lead to voters’ apathy by their supporters.
Demanding that ZEC is heavily militarized is uncalled for; they have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the organization is staffed with serving members of the army.
In any case, in which section of the law which bars our gallant sons and daughters who fought the liberation war and served in the security agencies after independence to be employed in civilian roles? What is their crime?
Opposition parties should leave the independent commission to do its work as mandated by the constitution and calling for SADC and AU to come and conduct the election on behalf of ZEC is beyond stupid, no wonder these regional bodies never take them seriously. If they feel aggrieved they should take their cases to the courts.
The so-called private media should be able to scrutinize their demands to make a distinction between what is genuine and what is clearly frivolous. Voters should make informed decisions from accurate information.
ZEC and ZANU-PF have never worked in collusion; ZANU-PF works hard for its victory, mobilizing its supporters and carrying out people-centered projects and programmes which resonate well with the generality of the masses. It’s not voodoo science then that Zanu PF always makes a clean sweep at the polls.