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We’ve valid concerns against Zec: Coltart

Respected lawyer David Coltart has accused some quarters in the international community of backing Zanu PF by brushing aside their concerns against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (Zec) credibility to hold free and fair elections.

Former Education and Sports Minister David Coltart
Former Education and Sports Minister David Coltart

The MDC Alliance has been holding demonstrations against Zec, pressing for electoral reforms but the elections management body has remained adamant, arguing that only an earthquake will stop an election slated for next Monday.

The MDC Alliance has, however, refused to budge indicating that it will from today hold all-night vigils at Zec offices countrywide as part of their mission to force the electoral body to bend to their demands.

“We want to go into this election but we need to get it very clear, primarily to Zec, that we will not allow them to subvert the elections in a way that it has been in the past,” Coltart said.

“That’s our primary focus and, of course, our secondary priority is to the international community. We know that there are those in the international community who are desperate to white-wash this election, to disregard genuine concerns regarding the breach of the Constitution and of the electoral regulations and endorsed this process and we say that’s unacceptable,” he said.

He added: “If we believe in the rule of law then we must believe in the rule of law; everyone, including the international community. So, the international community needs to know that these are not superficial concerns. These are valid concerns based on the breach of the law.”

The former Education minister in the inclusive government justified the demonstrations that have been held by the MDC Alliance saying that was the only language Zec chair Priscilla Chigumba can understand.

“A very arrogant chair who has dismissed our concerns and acted in a very partisan way. We have seen an arrogant Zec which is clearly associated with one political party Zanu PF and a very dismissive Zec and then the question arises when you have written about it when you try to speak to them as we engage on debate with them and your valid concerns regarding breaches of law are met with responses such as, well, it is water under the bridge.

“What options does a political party have? We have to demonstrate that these are serious, genuine concerns and how can we do that in a way that can force Zec to listen,” Coltart said.

He dismissed accusations emanating from some quarters that the MDC Alliance has been conducting demonstrations as a way of seeking sympathy from the international community.

“This is not so much to seek sympathy from the international community; we want to go into this election. The Afrobarometer poll survey shows a surge of support for Nelson Chamisa. These are not our figures but these are figures ironically from independent bodies that Zanu PF has used in the past.” –DailyNews