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DARE Statement on ZEC Engagement

by Clemence Tabatapashi Nhliziyo
21 Mar 2017 at 16:44hrs | Views
The Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (DARE) declares a deadlock with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with regards to their independence and impartiality. We note with disdain the attempt to trivialize opposition demands for the return to the UNDP sponsored BVR procurement arrangement. No amount of intimidation and walk-aways from the table will divert our attention to the critical issue of professionalism and trust.

It is abhorrent and very naive for ZEC to accuse political parties of speaking out on issues which are key to conduct of Zimbabwe's imminent elections. Our role as stakeholder is to make sure there is a free, fair and credible election in 2018. In that pursuance, we can never abdicate our constitutional right to demand an independent and professional ZEC institution.

DARE has been on record in dismissing ZEC as a highly compromised and uncreditworthy institution polluted with intelligentsia, unprofessional staff and today we stand vindicated on that front. ZEC did not walk away from Zanu PF interference with the BVR procurement system but tacitly complied with a Zanu PF directive. It must be beyond any doubt the government of Zimbabwe as presently constituting Zanu PF cannot be allowed to impose and chart a roadmap to 2018 elections.

18 months before the coming elections we are seized with a non-reforming Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which has only been engaging opposition political parties as a deceitful face saver to acquire international support. There have not been frank and candid consultations.

We were prepared to engage ZEC in the political parties' dialogue platform of the proposed committees and we are aware that Zanu PF has forced Rita Makarau to abort the engagement through todays stage managed walk out. We cannot be stopped and in fact ZEC has only but exposed themselves as a Zanu Pf front.

We are also aware that Zanu Pf is now scuttling BVR efforts in the hope that we will return to Mudede's voters roll. We take this opportunity to make it very bold and clear that we will never accept that and therefore declare an electoral process stalemate in Zimbabwe which naturally push us to approach SADC and the African Union. The SADC troika will immediately be informed of Zimbabwe's current predicament. It will be better and good to return to the 1980 scenario of munhu nechitupa chake with UN, AU and SADC conducting the elections as we suspend current constitutional restraints to such a process.

ZEC has not even issued a warning and punitive measures against security personnel interference in electoral processes. ZEC has not instituted a framework where all political parties will have access to state media. A code of conduct of the state media on handling electoral coverage is not in place and the punitive measures on failure to give equal access to political parties. In the same wavelength, there is no punitive measures for abuse of state resources, institutions, property such as confiscated goods which can be used for vote buying and creating a skewed political terrain.

Until today ZEC has not even bothered to publish a profile of the organization and its staff hence it remains a very militaristic secretive organization. Let it dawn on ZEC that we can no longer be taken for granted as we demand a free, credible and fair election in 2018. We therefore invite Zimbabweans to demonstrate and stand up against ZEC bullying and shenanigans.

We invite Zimbabweans to stand up as we move towards a watershed moment in 2018. We indeed have a message for colleagues in CODE and NERA electoral activism that it is time to take a bold stand. It is time to trumpet on the walls of injustice and denial of freedom. Freedom comes through unity and unity comes through working together. Indeed, we are only stronger together in our efforts to restore democracy and usher in a new Zimbabwe.

DARE Head of Communications

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Source - DARE
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