Source: Mugabe has chance to redeem legacy: Mliswa – DailyNews Live Mliswa Bridget Mananavire • 27 April 2016
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has a chance to redeem his “tattered” image when the country goes for elections in two years’ time if he ensures that the keenly awaited polls are free of violence, intimidation and other electoral irregularities that have for long been associated with his rule, a former Zanu PF top official has said.
Mugabe, who will be 94 in 2018, has indicated that he will be contesting when the country goes for elections and will slug it out against the likes of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Opposition political parties, accuse the nonagenarian of being the mastermind of violence and other electoral vices that have blighted the county’s elections since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1980.
In an interview, Temba Mliswa (pictured) who now leads a youth advocacy organisation, Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) said his former boss has a chance to make things right.
“For me it’s a matter of a free and fair and credible election, where the playing field is level. And that is what I yearn for the president to leave behind as his legacy, that a Zimbabwean election becomes free and fair and credible election, it would do so much to his legacy and allow people to cast their vote according to their will and desire,” Mliswa told the Daily News.
“That’s one legacy he must leave for us and promise everyone that in 2018 the aspect of violence intimidation will not happen. This country has around six million people on the voters’ roll but they are not voting, why is that so, because they believe our vote will not be heard or they will be intimidated.”
The outcome of the country’s elections have been consistently contested by opposition parties, mainly the MDC, and last year Mugabe was hounded by journalists at the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as they put him to task over when Zimbabwe will “finally have a democratic election”.
After the sham 2008 elections, Mugabe almost punched a British reporter who had accused him of rigging the polls.
And as the county hurtles towards the 2018 elections Mliswa says he is busy uniting youths from across the political divide to shun violence.
“One of our objectives is to work on electoral reforms, the most critical thing is creating a conducive environment because there is no point in getting people on the voters’ roll when the playing field is not even.
“The issue of violence is number one, it’s the youths who are used as perpetrators of violence and Yard is already creating programmes through sport, football and netball so as to bring the youths from across the political divide together, we had a successful one in Hurungwe West where they were playing soccer. The moment that the youth desist from violence then those that are at the forefront of influencing it will not have an opportunity to do so.”