Senators in war of words over Zec

Source: Senators in war of words over Zec – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      20 May 2017

HARARE – Zanu PF and MDC senators were on Wednesday embroiled in a war of
words over the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s operations.

Senators from the ruling party were backing Zec while those from
opposition argued the Commission was being used by the ruling Zanu PF to
rig 2018 elections.

“According to our view, Zec is rigging elections before we start this
voting process,” MDC Midlands senator Morgen Komichi said.

“If Zec purports to be independent, it should be talking to political
parties and agree on the number of registration points,” he said, adding
“if it holds such meetings, there is going to be an agreement among the

Komichi said Zec should put equal voter registration points in all

“I know people may talk of geographical setup in those areas and they may
say in the urban areas the geographical set up may be small. I would want
to argue and say that while geographical setup in urban centres is small,
their population is big.

“There is also a huge activity in the towns as people spend most of their
time fending for  themselves, seeking employment or any other ways of
living, hence the density of the population is very high.”

Bulawayo MDC senator Siphiwe Ncube weighed in saying Zec is representing
certain individuals interests and is biased.

“When I look at this issue, it is really painful especially to the
opposition political parties in this country,” she said.

“Who is Zec and who are the people in Zec who are responsible for the
registration and the voting? If you look at the composition of the staff
at Zec, these people are not independent.

“They are not free people. It is just the same as if I am standing here. I
am senator Siphiwe Ncube and I represent my party. I am here because of a
party that brought me here. This is what we are talking about. Who is Zec,
who are the people in Zec, what are their positions and who are they
representing?” Ncube questioned.

“Now we are in the middle of the year and we are talking about elections
that we will be facing next year. Registration has not started and we do
not know exactly what is happening. Where are we going?

“We got independence and we were saying we are now in Zimbabwe but we are
not free. If we cannot correct things that pertain to us as human beings,
it means that our being here is pointless.”

This comes as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai recently warned that
President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF – fearful of receiving an
even bigger poll shellacking than 2008’s – were allegedly already working
feverishly to steal next year’s elections.

However, Zanu PF Manicaland senator Shadreck Chipanga rubbished the claims
saying Zec is an independent body.

“It is now in our people’s minds that even if Zec is good at anything, if
I did not win, it means they do not know what they are doing.  I think it
is also affecting the operations of Zec. If they do well, they will be
condemned and if they do not do well they will still be condemned.  So,
why not bring in ideas pointing out where Zec is going wrong?” he argued.

“I also want to raise an issue on the independence of Zec.  It comprises
judges who would have been appointed by the president but what cushions
them and protects them is that they do not lose their jobs and their money
does not come from Treasury but it comes from the same bag as the Judges,
hence they are not afraid of anybody.

He further said: “We are already complaining that we are losing before we
have even voted.  I have heard someone saying that if we go to elections
in 2018, I am not going to concede to the results before we have even
started the registration process. What if we start voter registration and
vote, what are we going to say then? People only want to win and then they
will say the elections were fair.”