Blessings Mashaya 13 March 2017
HARARE – MDC youths are threatening to disrupt next year’s general
elections if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) decides to go ahead
with the polls without instituting far-reaching electoral reforms to level
the electoral playfield that they allege favours Zanu PF’s favour.
For the past two years, the MDC along with other political parties
coalescing under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) banner, has
been demanding electoral reforms which include the demilitarising of Zec.
However, Zanu PF ministers such as Jonathan Moyo have vowed that they will
not reform themselves out of power.
And with government digging in and apparently unfazed by opposition
parties’ demonstrations and petitions, MDC youth leader Happymore Chidziva
told the Daily News that the party’s youths are going to disrupt the 2018
polls if reforms are not implemented.
“We are not going to allow the next year election to be rigged. As youths
we are going to block the election by demonstrating the whole of next year
including on the day of elections.”
“We want to warn Zanu PF that if they think that they will manipulate the
2018 election they are dreaming, people of Zimbabwe are not fools, we are
not going to allow Zec to destroy our future.”
This comes amid grave concerns that the controversial decision by the
government to take over the procurement process of the biometric voter
registration (BVR) kits from the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) is a thinly-disguised attempt to rig the 2018 polls.
“The issue of BVR kits is going to show Zec that the people of Zimbabwe
are now tired, they do not want to legitimise rigged elections. We are
going to force the responsible authorities to implement the much-needed
reforms ahead of the election.
“We are now ready to fight for our future, enough is enough, and we will
not allow Zanu PF to do what they want with our future again.”
Last week, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Mugabe and his warring
ruling Zanu PF were already working towards stealing next year’s watershed
Controversy has stalked government’s sudden decision to sideline the UNDP
from assisting in the procurement of the BVR kits with the MDC leader
telling the media last week that no single political party should be in
charge of preparing for elections.
Last year in December, interested companies had an opportunity to present
their bids to supply BVR kits through a process that was digitally-managed
in Copenhagen, Denmark.
However, following the conclusion of the bidding process, government
announced two weeks ago that it would fund the purchase of the equipment,
after pumping in $17 million.
This raised eyebrows, with the opposition alleging that the government was
hijacking the process to rig next year’s eagerly-anticipated national
However, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told Parliament that the
government was providing the funds required to buy the equipment, and that
it was not booting out the UNDP.