AN all-stakeholders conference on electoral reforms held in Bulawayo yesterday nearly degenerated into a slinging match, as other opposition parties accused the MDC-T of conniving with the ruling Zanu PF to stuff the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) secretariat with State security agents.
Source: Opposition parties clash over Zec – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 1, 2016
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/BLESSED MHLANGA
The conference, organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), was attended by journalists, civic society groups and representatives of various political parties including the MDC-T, NCA, ZimPF, RDZ and PDP.
Tempers flared when NCA spokesperson, Madock Chivasa accused the MDC-T of being the architects of the “monstrous Zec”, which they now wanted to be reformed.
This was after MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu had called for the complete disbandment of Zec, describing the poll management body as “damaged goods.”
“They should be dismantled warts and all. The new Zec has to be autonomous, impartial and adequately funded. The Zec secretariat is comprised of members of the intelligence, who report to some political figure at Chaminuka Building and not the commission,” he alleged.
Zec acting chief elections officer, Utloile Silaigwana sat stone-faced showing no emotion, but it was the response from Chivasa that nearly torched off a storm.
“Zec is constituted in accordance with the same constitution that our colleagues in the MDC-T and Zanu PF colluded to push down the throats of Zimbabweans. President Robert Mugabe is allowed by the Constitution to appoint the commission and that is exactly what he has done. It is disingenuous or hypocrisy of the highest order for our colleagues to now demand that the animal they helped create should be disbanded,” he said.
ZimPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire urged opposition forces to use former Zanu PF members, now in ZimPF, to counter future Zanu PF plots to rig elections.
But PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said holding general elections under the current environment was a waste of resources and called for the adoption of a National Transitional Authority (NTA) to provide a soft landing for the Zanu PF regime.
“We all know that elections are a waste of time in the current environment. Zanu PF is not going to allow for reforms. It is not going to happen. We think the NTA can help the country move out of this rut,” he said.