via Tsvangirai fights back – DailyNews Live by Thelma Chikwanha
Former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai is set to address a rally at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare on Saturday with the MDC claiming that their leader will reveal to supporters how the July 31 polls were “stolen.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that President Robert Mugabe had won 61 percent of the presidential vote while his Zanu PF won by a two thirds majority in Parliament but the MDC immediately described the election as a farce claiming Zanu PF had rigged.
The rally dubbed What Happened? will also be used to commemorate the party’s 14th anniversary. The MDC turns 14 on Wednesday.
Tsvangirai’s party is still devastated after losing the July 31 elections. The party’s national organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Tsvangirai will provide answers to how Zanu PF “rigged” the elections.
Sadc has since endorsed the election result as “free, peaceful and generally credible.”
Last week, the MDC claimed that a Sadc report on the July 31 election presented by Tanzania’s foreign minister Bernard Membe was false.
Political analysts like Trevor Maisiri said the endorsement of the election by Sadc sounded a death knell on the MDC’s hope of securing any help from the regional body.
Said Chamisa: “We will hold a rally to commemorate our 14th anniversary and come up with a way forward. We did a forensic report and it has damning discoveries which we want to share with the whole country at Sakubva Stadium on Saturday.”
The party which has presented the biggest challenge for Zanu PF had prior to the election raised issues of the electoral irregularities which included; the failure of political parties to access an electronic and hard copy of the voters’ roll.
Local observers under the umbrella of Zimbabwe Election Support Network say that close to one million people in urban areas failed to cast their votes after they were turned away for not being registered as voters and several other reasons.
In rural areas, however at least 90 percent of registered voters managed to cast their votes on election day amidst concerns of the very high number of assisted voters.
A local research organisation Research Advocacy Unit (RAU) also said that there were at least one million people who were either deceased or had left the country who appeared on the voters’ roll.
Rau also stated that close to a million people between the ages of 18 and 30 had failed to register as voters yet the youth constitutes 60 percent of the country’s population.
The organisation also revealed how in some areas the number of registered voters did not tally with the population of the people according to a census conducted last year.
But political analysts on one hand say the MDC, which has its roots in the labour movement, lost the election because they lost touch with their supporters who mainly consist of the poor working class.
Leader of the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe Munyaradzi Gwisai says the party lost because Tsvangirai failed to listen to people who were advocating for the NO vote during the referendum because Mugabe was using it as a dress rehearsal.
“As Tsvangirai and his ministers were busy telling the world that they were lucky to be Mugabe’s apprentices, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda camped for a year in Masvingo terrorising villagers.
“Then the MDC made a huge blunder in pushing forward ward-based polling and counting of ballots,” Gwisai was quoted as having said by the local media.
Gwisai who once represented the MDC as a member of Parliament for Highfield added that; “This exposed rural opposition voters to intimidation. With no protection from the MDC and with memories of the terror of June 2008, many rural people voted for their security.