The Nelson Chamisa led formation of the Movement for Democratic Change has accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of breaching its own terms of reference as guided in the Electoral Act after developing cold feet on its duty to provide a contesting parties and candidates with a voters roll in an analyzable format.
Speaking at the multiparty liaison committee meeting held in Harare today, MDC-T Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora said ZEC had failed to abide by the provisions of its own act in what he said is a clear tactic to rig elections in favor of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Mwonzora said the voter registration regulation as stipulated in Statutory Instrument 85 of 2017 provides what must be contained in a voters roll including unique particular features of the voter such as photographs and national registration numbers.
“The voter rolls that was availed to the political parties that we are using now does not have the faces and therefore it is a voters roll that does not comply with the law, not only any other law but the law that ZEC itself made. So ZEC is in breach of its own laws. Its argument that if the faces are shown, then people will not be safe does not hold water,” said Mwonzora.
“After all we have seen criminals from Zanu PF attacking, abducting people and so on. So what we are saying is that there is no compliance with the law. There is no compliance with section 62 of the constitution which says that people have a right to information which is necessary for the protection of their right or for the furtherance of their interest. There is also section 67 which talks about the political rights of the Zimbabwean people, all these have been violated,” he added.
The voters roll has been a bone of contention in Zimbabwe’s elections since 2000 with opposition parties accusing the then Registrar General of manipulating voters data for the benefit of Zanu PF.
The voter register controversy has also seen an independent organisation led by experts in the name of ‘Pachedu’ providing shocking revelations that the voter register is contaminated, the findings Zanu PF Secretary for Legal Affairs, Paul Mangwana dismissed as unproven and unsubstantiated.
“Everybody has dismissed the Pachedu report as partisan and one of the guys is who did this is Westbill an American supporter of the MDC. I have heard, I talked to Westbill, he told me that himself, one of them is Freeman Chari again an MDC activist and many other MDC activists.”
Meanwhile, the multiparty meeting saw Zanu PF representatives Paul and Nick Mangwana storming out accusing other parties of diverting from addressing ZEC to targeting the ruling party.
“When we met last week, these are the minutes of what we discussed and that issue (voters roll) was not raised by any of the parties there, nobody in there raised any concerns with the voters roll,” said Nick Mangwana.
The multiparty liaison committee meeting ended in a stalemate with no consensus on how the electoral process will unpack.
Meanwhile, one of the 23 contesting Presidential candidates Divine Mhambi Hove of the Nationalists Alliance of Patriotic and Democratic Republicans (NAPDR) has pulled out of the race citing irregularities in the electoral processes and that the commission has failed to discharge its duties in good faith.
“This is the time to make decisions other than engaging ZEC and I think that’s all I can say and I want to official states that as a presidential candidate I feel these elections will not be credible and as such I will not participate in them, nation Zimbabwe I’m out of the elections,” said Hove.