Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

No free, fair elections; Mujuru tells SDC

by Staff reporter
16 Mar 2018 at 15:07hrs | Views
The principals of the People's Rainbow Coalition (PRC) this morning led a high-powered delegation of its Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and it's secretariat to meet with the SADC Election Advisory Committe.

The meeting is part of the regional body's assessment tools to measure Zimbabwe's preparedness for the 2018 elections and the PRC was able to use this opportunity to appraise the SEAC on issues impinging on having a truly free, fair, credible and transparent election in 2018.

The PRC Presidential candidate, Dr. JTR Mujuru, was flanked by her peers PDP President Lucia Matibenga, Dr S Nkomo, ZUNDE President Farai Mbira led the briefing while the PRC Secretary General, Dr Gorden Moyo, gave an account of the PRC concerns based on highlights from the PRC's document on Political and Electoral Reforms.

 The PRC team advised SEAC that it was not possible to hold credible, free, fair and transparent elections in Zimbabwe under current conditions where the military (3000 soldiers) have gone back to the barracks after the November 2017 coup, removed their uniforms and redeployed into the community harassing and intimidating the electorate and coercing them to vote for Mnangagwa and ZANU PF in the forthcoming elections. Since the coup there has been a noticeable and deliberate redeployment of military personnel from the back office to the front office of operations both in the ZANU PF party and in government, as well as in important institutions of government such as ZEC.

PRC highlighted that its preferred position on the impeding elections would be for the Zimbabwean government to seek SADC's help in running a free, fair, transparent and credible election that, among other things, allows opposition to equal access to the media, unrestricted access to the electorate, etc.. The following issues were also highlighted;

* Partisan traditional leadership - while the PRC respects traditional authority it was disturbed by utterances from some traditional leaders openly declaring their support for ZANU PF. They provide the leg work for the ruling party and are its 'soft-power' while the army provides the ruling party with 'hard-power'.

*Violence - perpetrators of political violence are not brought to book, eg violence visited upon our members on 20/2/2018.

* Military meddling in politics - pronouncements by the military that they will not salute anyone without liberation war  credentials are intimadatory to say the least. We wonder how the military will treat an electoral victory by the PRC because President Dr. JTR Mujuru is a decorated liberation war fighter. We wonder if a coup can be staged against a PRC government.

* Media - reforms are long overdue. ZANU PF continues to enjoy exposure on public airwaves and in the public print media at the expense of opposition parties.

*Political parties liaison committees - call by Mnangagwa to meet principals of opposition parties should be channeled through ZEC so that when principals meet, they meet as equals.

* Diaspora vote - constitution allows for all Zimbabwean's, wherever they are, to exercise their right to vote.

* Law alignment - need to speed up the alignment of laws including the enactment of laws on Devolution.

* BVR - the exercise is secretive with stakeholders not made aware of how auditing of materials will be done. All BVR processes should be open to all political parties and other interested stakeholders.

* Observers - long-term observers should be already deployed in Zimbabwe in view of the November 2017 events. The security nature of Zimbabwe demands the immediate presence of long-term observers and their deployment especially in rural areas.

* Elections roadmap - ZEC has only been meeting those parties represented in parliament, leaving other opposition parties out. All opposition political parties must be included in the discussions with ZEC.

In closing, the PRC pointed out that issues were many and could take days to enunciate but the bottom line is that the electorate knows whom they would want to vote for and whom they would want to lead them in government if assured of an environment conducive for a free, fair, transparent and credible election in 2018.

From the office of the PRC Information department
16 March 2018.

Source - From the office of the PRC Information department