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Accept Election Outcome Regardless of Winner, MDC Tells Army

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The country’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai has demanded that the army publicly pledge to accept the outcome of the 2018 harmonized elections regardless of the winner, a move they said will boost the credibility of the do-or-die polls.

In a statement issued on Wednesday soon after the party’s National Executive meeting in Harare, National Spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the army commanders, who have previously vowed never to salute someone without liberation war credentials, should publicly make a statement that they will not interfere in the electoral process.

“The MDC also calls upon the top commanders of the Zimbabwe National Defense Forces to unequivocally and publicly state that they will accept the outcome of free and fair elections regardless of whoever is going to win these elections,” added Gutu.

He called on Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to compile a credible national voters’ roll in time for the elections- likely to be held in August or September.

The MDC-T urged ZEC to be transparent in the procurement of election material- a bone of contention in previous elections.

“Among other important issues, it was also stressed that all election materials, including the ballot papers, must be procured in a transparent and credible manner that will enable all stakeholders to be satisfied with the level of transparency and accountability. More importantly, the meeting also resolved that there must be a clear and concise road map towards the holding of the harmonized elections this year.

“We also demand that the 2018 elections should be SADC, AU and UN guaranteed. Basically, this means that the elections have to receive the seal of approval from all these very important organisations in order to ensure that they are free and fair and also that they will produce a credible result that reflects the true will of the people,” said Gutu.

MDC-T appealed to ZBC as a public broadcaster to be accessible to all the political players as dictated by the constitution saying the current situation in which ZBC TV and all radio stations are domains of the ruling Zanu PF was unacceptable and against benchmarks of fairness as far as elections are concerned.

“Last but certainly not least, the MDC is also demanding that the public broadcaster, i.e. the Zimbabwe Broadcasting television station and all its four radio stations should be accessible to all political players in tandem with the dictates of the national constitution. Presently, ZBC TV and ZBC radio stations are the exclusive domain of the Zanu PF government and are, in fact, virtually closed to all opposition political players,” said Gutu.

Two months before the 2002 presidential elections, security chiefs said the highest office in the land was a straight-jacket whose occupant was expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle.

“We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute, anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country and our people,” they said in a statement.

 

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Journalist based in Harare

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