UPDATED: MDC-T demo flops

Source: UPDATED: MDC-T demo flops | The Herald July 12, 2017

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
AN illegal demonstration against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission by the MDC-T Youth Assembly in Harare failed dismally yesterday.

People ignored the call and went about their daily chores. In the few instances that the handful MDC-T supporters had gathered, especially in down town Harare, police had to fire teargas to clear the illegal gatherings.

Police details were also deployed at ZEC headquarters after some of the activists tried to march to the offices. A few other MDC-T supporters were at the party’s headquarters waving banners.

The illegal demonstration by the MDC-T Youth Assembly was purportedly meant to pressure ZEC to institute so-called reforms before next year’s harmonised elections.

ZEC has been engaging political parties, the media and civil society to update them on progress they have made in preparation for the elections. It has indicated its willingness to consider any recommendations offered by any interested party.

Since Friday last week ZEC has met with political parties, the media and civil society. Yesterday ZEC Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau reiterated the commission’s position to engage stakeholders.

“We have been open with all stakeholders and we have had meetings with various stakeholders since last week explaining all areas of concern they might have. I do not know how more transparent we can be.

“We had the process of procuring the BVR kits that was done under the observation of interested parties and we have also been explaining the deployment plan.

“We have, for the voter registration exercise, indicated that we can also consider any suggestion (on the plan) that they may have. We remain open to suggestions from them and all other stakeholders,” Justice Makarau said.

Efforts to get a comment from police chief national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba were fruitless last night. ZEC has since engaged Chinese firm, Luxton Group for the procurement of Biometric Voter Registration kits to be used for registering voters for next year’s elections.

The electoral body has deposited half of the $7,5 million needed to procure the 3 000 BVR kits needed for the voter registration exercise and delivery is expected soon. ZEC expects to register at least seven million voters before next year’s elections during the registration exercise

The registration would be done in a period of two months once the dates are announced.