MDC-T senators walk out over Electoral Bill

via MDC-T senators walk out over Electoral Bill | SW Radio Africa  by Nomalanga Moyo on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MDC-T senators walked out of parliament Tuesday in protest over the exclusion of their proposals from the Electoral Amendment Bill.

The Bill is one of several other pieces of legislation that have to be aligned with the country’s new constitution adopted last year.

Among other issues, the opposition lawmakers want the Justice Ministry to revisit Section 40 (c) of the Electoral Act which prohibits anyone else except the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission from conducting voter education.

The senators also want the Bill to be clear about who should be the final authority on voter registration – ZEC or the office of the Registrar-General.

Senator Morgan Komichi said they realised during the proceedings that Deputy Justice Minister Fortune Chasi who presented the Bill was not taking their concerns seriously, hence the walk out.

“This is an ugly, undemocratic Bill which represents ZANU PF in all respects and that is what we are protesting,” Komichi told SW Radio Africa Wednesday.

“As senators we want ZEC to be independent of the justice ministry, and also to have its own voters roll. In that Bill, the Electoral Commission doesn’t have any power over the voters roll or even to hire or fire its own chief executive which makes the chairperson of the body just a stooge.”

The senator said their concerns stem from the events in the 2013 elections when it became apparent that the Rita Makarau-headed ZEC wasn’t the one in charge of the polls.

He said it is clear from the way the Bill is being handled that the ZANU PF government has no intention to democratise the electoral process.

“Without the changes we are proposing, the registrar-general will continue to run the elections and this violates the new constitution.”

Komichi said he did not think the walk-out by at least 20 senators would change anything, but they did it “for the record”.

“We want people to know that we raised these issues and did not just sit back. ZANU PF has the majority in both Houses and they will use this advantage to entrench systems that help them to retain power.

Komichi said the ruling regime knows that without these systems that tilt the political ground in their favour, they will be out of power.

“That is why they do not want to give people the right to choose their own leaders or to vote because they know once they do that, they will be out of power.”

The Bill will now go to the Lower House following its Third Reading at the Senate on Wednesday, where Komichi thinks it will sail through regardless of objections.

Other contentious points raised by the MDC lawmakers include allowing postal votes from Zimbabweans based outside the country, as well as allowing equal media coverage for all political parties by the State media.

ZANU PF has also steadfastly refused to reform the country’s security sector which continues to prop up President Robert Mugabe’s hold on power.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 13
  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 7 years ago

    “Komichi said he did not think the walk-out by at least 20 senators would change anything, but they did it “for the record”.”

    Respect.

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    Panda moyo 7 years ago

    When people said the constitution making process was flawed ,mdc said it was not.now they are crying foul,even monzora .

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    Zimbabwe wakeup and smell the coffee. At all costs ZPF do NOT want a fair and just electoral bill. It will expose their evil skulduggery. The time for national unity is NOW! Pray and ask the Lord to expose, expose, expose! And He is and He will.

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    shumba liverpool 7 years ago

    Best thing Mr Komichi is to walk out for good. You have rightly noted chat 20 senators wont change much. Restrategize MDC you are wasting time..believe me 2018 is not worth waiting for.

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    maita 7 years ago

    The mentality of Zimbabweans is what stinks. Look daily they fight for square meters to sell tomatoes, potatoes, onions on the pavements while others have the audacity to chase people from farms to start game ranching, Just take a 10 minutes watch at Kombis and see how our youths fight for passengers for the kombis, how hwindis risk breaking limps jumping into kombis to load it, just watch our so-called disciplined forces in haulage trucks carried in trailers from their barracks to their dingy accomodations around the town like cattle to the abbatpir or animals being moved to new racnches, and that is when you will realise Zimbabweans are not a normal people.

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    Mvelase 7 years ago

    MDC is a waste of time for Zimbabweans. There is need for a more focussed political alternative to ZANU PF which destroyed not only the country and economy but its very self.

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    Mvelase 7 years ago

    ZANU PF is a mafia organization with hoodlums running the show. There is none among themselves who is accountable to the other within their organization. The ideals and philosophy that informed and guided the liberation struggled are dead and buried. It was supposed to be power to the people but alas its now power to the ZANU mafia.

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    Mvelase 7 years ago

    As an ex-combatant who operated in the Zambezi valley February 1978-1979 December, I loathe the sacrifices that we made and moan the deaths of fellow comrades who died in the the hope of giving freedom to the masses of Zimbabwe. What I witness is to say the least extremely painful and I ask myself was it really worthy it?Millions have now fled the country and a laughing stocks all over the world and for what reason but the intransigence of ZANU. Zimbabweans made a huge mistake in 1980 by allowing tribal voting and this is what will haunt this country till we move out of this tribal and regional politics.

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    word writer 7 years ago

    mdc relaxed under the hubris fired illusion that it was definitely going to win.
    its nation wide committees were filled with people who wanted positions, and who couldnt care less about excellence or proper strategic planning.
    its leaders were wooden headed who refused to listen to researchers and MDc lost catastrophically.

    You betrayed us. now look at the harvest it is bringing in. go on national television and beg foregiveness from us. weep in sorrow over your stupidity …. and get rid of that also ran, hanger on, pretender tsvangirai.

    • comment-avatar
      Guest 001 7 years ago

      MDC did not betray anyone.The people betrayed MDC by accepting bribes and used to vote more than once.Thats the problem with you Zimbabweans.You don’t do your part but expects MDC and Chematama to do everything.You are blameless only the MDC and Chematama are to blame for everything.They must single handedly remove Muggabage and when they fail they are a weak opposition.

      • comment-avatar
        kutongwa nonjazi 7 years ago

        Thanks for saying this truth. Imiakaitei is the big question

  • comment-avatar

    Well said Guest