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Chamisa's MDC says the Zanu-PF is plotting violence ahead of 2023 polls

by Staff reporter
27 May 2021 at 06:44hrs | Views
Zanu PF is in panic mode and is pulling out all the stops to win the 2023 elections using violent means and draconian legislation to crush all dissent, the MDC Alliance charged on Wednesday.

The Nelson Chamisa-led main opposition party said that human rights abuses and arbitrary arrests of its activists and pro-democracy campaigners were on the increase, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa desperately angling to consolidate power by any means necessary.

"The regime is in pre-election panic mode as it seeks to introduce a patriotic bill to legislate against free speech, free conscience and to uphold the conduct of demanding a better society," party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere told a news conference on electoral reforms in Harare.

"Citizens have not been spared from the early facts of the poorly managed economy, despite the regime's propaganda and attempt to paint a false picture of economic improvement. People's livelihoods remain in constant threat with teachers, doctors and other civil servants earning slave wages."

Mahere said jailed or formerly imprisoned activists including Obey Sithole, Joanna Mamombe, and Allan Moyo, were victims of the "weaponization of the bail application process to ensure that citizens are unjustly incarcerated."

The government's reintroduction of the National Youth Service (NYS), a notorious programme known for churning out violent youth militia was "designed to entrench fear and cause violence ahead of the elections," Mahere added.

Video footage of a Zanu PF thug who attended the unveiling of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda on Tuesday, who is seen threatening violence during the coming elections is being viewed as a credible harbinger.

Mahere also slammed the recent constitutional amendments saying they were engineered "to entrench dictatorship and to concentrate power in the hands of one individual."

Speaking at the same conference, party election officer Ian Makone said the MDC Alliance was pushing for electoral reforms on two fronts.

"There are those that require changes in legislation, and in particular the alignment of the Electoral Act to our constitution. On several occasions, we have made reference to it and it was like knocking against a brick wall," he told journalists.

"I sincerely hope this time with the combined voices from all discerning citizens that change will happen, we have done it before and the result is we got a constitution authored by Zimbabweans which they are trying to decimate."

The second approach, Makone said, "concerns activities that are within the purview by the law of ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] themselves."

ZEC resumed voter registration in April by maintaining a ban on by-elections the responsibility to their dates fell under the ministry of health since the country was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Makone said the moratorium was unconstitutional.

"Someone should have advised the government that there are other ways of ensuring that Zimbabweans respond positively to the needs of social distancing, masks, and the need of other measures without usurping the power that the constitution vests," he added.

Zanu PF denies any plans for violence.

Source - zimlive