via We may boycott all elections, Chamisa 17 August 2014
THE MDC-T has said it was considering a general boycott of all by-elections in Zimbabwe arguing the entire electoral process remained patently skewed in favour of its Zanu PF rivals.
Party national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa told NewZimbabwe.com Saturday that the decision to snub future by-elections was a popular sentiment among party members.
“The decision is yet to be taken by the relevant organs, the executive and the national council,” Chamisa said.
He added: “ … but there is a very persuasive and dominant view that the central focus of the party should be to reform the manner in which elections are conducted in Zimbabwe, to make sure that the playing field is levelled, from a referee point of view to the extent that that has not been corrected or rectified.”
Since its defeat by Zanu PF in July last year, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led political formation has contested all local authority by-elections countrywide, losing all of them with huge margins.
Chamisa blames the defeats on a system he says remained evidently biased.
“It’s almost like a wild goose chase and a pie in the sky for anybody to think about deriving profit out of an electoral investment,” Chamisa said.
He continued: “We need to find a permanent solution to credible and legitimate elections.
“Since 1980, elections in this country have been a source of contestation and disputation and that cannot go unchecked because we end up with a very popular political party out of power and a very powerful political party without popularity.”
Reached for comment, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chair, Justice Rita Makarau, said the MDC-T had not yet placed any formal complaint before the elections agency.
She said she would not take the comments as an official position by the country’s main opposition.
“Because of that they haven’t complained to us, I have no comment to make,” she said.
“If they have a complaint to make, ask them to direct that to us and tell us which exact areas they want us to reform in terms of the whole procedure, then we can respond.”
The MDC-T has long been protesting the controversial handling of the country’s polls by President Robert Mugabe’s regime and blames its loss in last year’s general polls to what is says was a heavily militarised election management process.
The party earlier this year snubbed meetings which were convened by ZEC to review the July 31st elections saying this was a cosmetic attempt by a powerless authority to resolve a problem which lay beyond its capacity.
Writing in his “Personal Reflections” document June this year, ex-prime minister Tsvangirai regretted leading his party into contesting last year’s polls.
He said it was apparent his MDC-T was being led to the slaughter by Mugabe’s party, which had laid booby traps in the opposition’s wake through tinkering with the electoral process.