by Gift Mashoko
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa addressed a press conference on Tuesday where he threatened that his a party would take action if Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) does not take heed of their demands on how the printing the ballot papers was to be done. He further went on to say that they would be taking the matter to SADC to intervene in what he called a stalemate through an Extraordinary Summit.
Chamisa said they would be “no elections” if they did not know where the ballot paper is, the texture/quality of the paper, who printed the ballot paper and they would want evidence that the paper was printed in Zimbabwe. All these demands reveal a kind of desperation that has left the electorate asking if Chamisa is fit to be president. Chamisa said they were going to mobilize the people and civic society, their structures, war veterans and churches to get their views on the way forward.
This followed a demonstration by the MDC Alliance on July 12, 2018. Their reasons for this was because ZEC was refusing political parties the chance to observe the printing of the ballot papers and also that ZEC was failing to give them a copy of the voters’ roll as is provided by the law.
In a press conference he addressed few weeks earlier, Chamisa said the ballot paper was full of commissions and omissions, which he said would render the 2018 harmonised elections unconstitutional. One would ask, unconstitutional according to who? He blamed President Mnangagwa as being in the way of progress as there would be no free, fair and credible elections. Really, Advocate Chamisa.
Chamisa’s statement that there is no democracy and that people are yearning for a fresh start is exactly what President Mnangagwa is doing. Noting that the rag has been pulled under his feet, he has no other avenue than the politics of character assassination. If there was no democracy would there be many political parties and presidential candidates?
Chamisa also says ZEC is refusing to provide stakeholders with a voters’ roll with pictures of registered voters. How many Zimbabwean citizens would want their faces and personal information plastered and published for everyone to see? One would believe that none of us would want that in this day and age of identity theft.
The MDC Alliance wants to observe the printing of the ballot papers. They also want to be involved in the joint storage of printed ballot paper till they reach stakeholders with mechanisms on distribution of printing material. Any neutral observer would realise from the Alliance’s behaviour that the grouping of fragmented political outfits is not only interested in competing in this election but want to usurp ZEC’s powers and run the election themselves. The result of such a development will be anyone’s guess.
Blaming ZEC for operations of the public media, a publicly listed entity like The Herald newspaper where journalists are free to publish what they see and would have gathered is stooping so low for a political outfit which has professors and lawyers in its fold. Blaming ZEC for allowing those in the rural area to be abused and harassed, yet ZEC is busy going around the country advising on how and what people should and should not be doing is a misdirection of vented anger. Is ZEC the police?
The SADC, the AU, the international community and United Nations only intervene in crisis torn nations. Zimbabwe is not in any crisis as the Chamisa camp wants to portray. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and the elections are going to be run according to the laws of the land.
One wonders why it is only MDC Alliance that is being vocal of all the opposition parties. In this MDC Alliance which has swallowed the leaders of the other dying parties which joined them, one wonders if they still have a voice or they have become slaves of the Alliance. The ‘alliance’ is now just but a cover of a marriage that has gone wrong and parties to such marriage are only there for the comforts associated with the discordant marriage.
The electorate does not eat demos or press conferences. If the MDC Alliance are not ready and prepared for the elections like others are, they are free to step down and go back to Harvest House to organise themselves. An unprepared student cannot fire the invigilator.