Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mnangagwa under pressure over poll reforms

By Farayi Machamire

Opposition United African National Council (UANC) leader Nesbert Mtengezanwa has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to make major reforms to allow for a fair vote.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mtengezanwa’s UANC was founded by the first black prime minister of the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, Bishop Abel Muzorewa — now late.

In a March 5 petition, Mtengezanwa reminded Mnangagwa “about the letters that we wrote to your predecessor in the last two years the last one being in October last year before your dismissal.”

Mnangagwa assumed power in November following a de facto coup that ousted his 94-year-old predecessor Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, 75, is pushing for a general election to be held by mid-2018.

Mtengezanwa said Mnangagwa was stalling on the critical media, electoral and security sector reforms needed for a free and fair vote.

“Levelling of the democratic space has proved to be your biggest undoing despite your continued singing that you want to have a free and fair election, chief among them the coverage of opposition political parties on the national broadcaster.

“Your party, you and your wife (Auxillia) seem to have the lion’s share,” Mtengezanwa said in his letter to Mnangagwa.

“Above all, you seem to be mum on the electoral reforms which I believe are key to a credible election.

“The continued interference of the army in the day-to-day running of the country has raised a lot of questions from both the locals and the international world.

“Recent news that the composition of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is militarised is not something that you should just brush aside as this is key to a free and fair election.”

Mtengezanwa added: “I would like to remind you that the people of Zimbabwe went into the streets not in support of you in November last year but in celebration that finally Mugabe had gone.

“As advice, I would like to say to you elections without a meaningful reform is not the way to go.

“I advise you to rethink and consider an all-political parties conference and have an inclusive government where the parties will choose the one to head the government while making the necessary reforms for a credible election.

“To ordinary Zimbabweans, things haven’t changed since you came in despite your assurance that things will change.

“They still cannot access their cash in the banks, prices of basic commodities continue to rise beyond their reach and we now have an increase in vendors than before which is not healthy for you and the country.” DailyNews