Source: Alliance partner develops cold feet | The Herald May 14, 2018
Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
THE Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC is already running scared ahead of the country’s harmonised elections claiming that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s decision not go public about procuring ballot papers and indelible ink was a Zanu-PF way of rigging the elections.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba recently revealed that the security nature of the ballot paper and ink forced the electoral body not to tender publicly.
“The reason why we use this procedure for ballot paper and ink procurement is they have very specific quality, so if we do a public tender we are not going to guarantee the quality that we want and risk compromising security issues. Ink, for example, should be ink that can’t be tampered with. That is why we do what is called a direct purchase,” said Justice Chigumba.
However, in a statement yesterday, MDC spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi revealed that his party was running scared as the partners in the MDC Alliance made claims they were not substan- tiating.
“(Executive) Council noted that it is most likely that Zanu-PF is planning to rig the elections using the ballot paper and in this regard mandated the Standing Committee to work with Alliance partners in the MDC Alliance in doing everything possible to cause ZEC and the Government to adopt a public ballot procurement process that is open, transparent, verifiable and subject to audit so that the ballot paper will not be manipulated to predetermine against the will of the people and the electoral outcome,” said Mr Chihwayi.
“Council requested the Standing Committee to make the issue of the procurement, printing, securing and distribution of the ballot paper the highest non-negotiable priority of the MDC Al- liance.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured the world of a free, fair and credible election and has even invited 48 international observers to monitor the country’s elections.
The opposition who are perennial losers in the country’s elections have become synonymous with making rigging claims every time they lose the country’s elections.
Prof Ncube’s party performed dismally in the 2013 elections resulting in the disintegration of the party.
Mr Chihwayi said the party has also selected candidates to represent it in the coming elections under the MDC Al- liance.
The list of its candidates excludes the party’s former secretary-general, Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who has been among the most vocal legislators in the existing crop of MPs.
He said the MDC also committed itself to conforming to the electoral code of conduct that was agreed on with Zanu-PF and MDC-T.
The code of conduct compels political parties to ensure that they do everything to prevent politically motivated violence during the election period.