By Blessed Mhlanga/Beauty Nyuke
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has vowed to take the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and government head-on to push for electoral reforms, which in its view, will see the birth of non-contested results.
MDC Alliance secretary for elections Ian Makone said as Zec gave notice that all political space will be opened soon, there was need to address electoral reforms on two fronts.
“Zec announced that normal political activity will resume and we take them up on their word, what better way to start this process than initiate a national discourse with stakeholders?” asked Makone.
The stakeholders discourse, according to Makone, will use a united public voice and outcry to force realignment of laws and independence of Zec so that it delivers a credible poll.
“On this occasion, we focus our attention on the necessary environment for free and fair elections. We don’t want to go into another plebiscite which produces the same result,” Makone said.
“We will do anything that is humanly possible to ensure that Zimbabweans have an opportunity to determine what it is that should be changed in our current legislation and practices of Zec as we move towards the next national elections.”
Makone said Zec had not shown any evidence that it was behaving independently and was capable of delivering a credible election if change is not rolled out.
“On March 9, we wrote to Zec… we would like them to act independently of any control from anybody, which is what the law of the land says, but the evidence is otherwise,” Makone said.
Also at the centre of MDC Alliance’s concerns is delimitation of boundaries, where in the past Zanu PF has been accused of using its leverage on power to get boundaries drawn in its favour.
“Electoral boundaries drawn up must reflect the population distribution of the country ahead of that election,” Makone said.
“So far there is no evidence to suggest to us that such consultation is going to happen. At the end of the day, we require and we insist on delimitation of boundaries that are reflective of the population densities in our country.”
Electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, (Zesn) has raised concerns over the slow pace at which electoral reforms and consultations with stakeholders were going.
Zesn urged Zec to be open and transparent in its electoral processes and implementation of reforms.
The MDC Alliance said calls for reforms, consultation and independence of Zec have been hitting a brick wall.
“Reforms that require changes in legislation, in particular alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution, on several occasions we have made reference to it and on several occasions, it was like knocking on a brick wall. I sincerely hope that with a combined voice, those changes will happen,” he said.
Party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere called on all Zimbabweans to register to vote while the fight for reforms goes on.
“Every Zimbabwean, who is at least 18 years, must register to vote, we must all join hands in demanding urgent electoral reforms and we must also join hands in defending that vote,” she said. News Day