The MDC-T yesterday vowed the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera)-organised demonstration against government’s decision to hijack the procurement of biometrical voter registration (BVR) kits from the United National Development Programme (UNDP) will go ahead on March 22.
By Everson Mushava
Source: We are not afraid of jail: MDC-T – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 9, 2017
MDC-T secretary-general and Nera head of legal affairs Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabweans must stand their ground and join the protest in their thousands to register their disgust at the move by government.
“We must not be afraid of the pain that comes with demonstrations. We will never be able to liberate our people if we fear pain. We now know that although he [President Robert Mugabe] is brutal and cruel, the dictator is afraid of us,” he said
“If he is going to arrest us, he is going to arrest thousands of us. We are not afraid of his little jails. We call upon everybody to mobilise the people for this big day. We demand a clean election and we shall get one. Together we will win. Victory is certain.”
Mwonzora said March 22 would be a “great day” as Zimbabweans would rise up against the government’s move to take over the BVR kits procurement process.
“That move by government is meant to manipulate the voter registration process. That way they can influence the outcome of next year’s elections. In short, this is the beginning of the rigging process. We can never allow that to happen again.”
Last year, Nera participated in several demonstrations to pressure the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to implement electoral reforms ahead of next year’s general elections.
Some of the protests culminated in violence and arrest of many opposition supporters.
The protests also forced Zec to enter into negotiations with the opposition parties, but Nera has accused the electoral management body of reneging on some of the promises made so far, including the agreement to have UNDP procure the BVR kits.