Firebrand Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has urged the opposition to desist from perpetuating a narrative that elections are rigged saying it is impacting on new voters who find no incentive to register due to such perceptions.
Posting on microblogging site Twitter Friday morning, Mliswa said the narrative that elections are rigged makes it hopeless for the electorate who now sees it as an exercise in futility.
“One reason there are many people who don’t vote is that the MDC (opposition), since 2008, has always pushed the narrative that elections are always rigged. This makes it hopeless for the electorate to have an interest in voting as they now see it as an exercise in futility,” said Mliswa.
He urged the opposition to correct the narrative as it resulted in millions failing to vote in the 2018 general elections where the then MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa narrowly lost to Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“That narrative has to be corrected. The statistics from 2018 show that millions didn’t vote. Today it’s also impacting the registration of new voters. There is no incentive to register due to the same perception again,” added Mliswa.
The combative legislator called for mandatory voting for every registered voter while proposing a penalty and removal from the voters roll for those who do not cast their votes on the elections day.
“However, for everyone on the voters roll it should be mandatory that they vote. If they don’t they should be penalised because getting registered involves use of taxpayers’ money. One cannot just waste taxpayers’ money and then not use the right to vote.
“After that they should be removed from the voters roll. As YARD encouraging people to vote was actually one of our central issues after our formation. We focused on young people and it actually resulted in a spike in the number of registered voters,” said Mliswa.
The opposition CCC has been mobilizing first time voters to register to vote but the total voter population has not grown much from the 2018 figures with a below 2 percent increase.
The opposition has blamed ZEC for low voter registration turnout saying the electoral mother body is not doing enough to reach out especially to young people.