via Boycott none of your biz, MDCs tell US – New Zimbabwe 01/07/2015
THE MDCs have said the decision not to participate in any polls until reforms are instituted was informed by “local” prevailing conditions and “aliens” are entitled to their views.
The opposition parties were responding to the utterances by the visiting top US diplomat Gregory Simpkins who was Wednesday quoted saying the poll boycott was ill informed.
All three MDC formations have vowed not to participate in any elections if government does not institute electoral reforms.
Their first major boycott was that of the recent June by-elections which saw Zanu PF winning some seats in Bulawayo for the first time in 15 years.
Some of the reforms the opposition are pushing for include the cleaning of the voters’ roll and its provision to contesting parties three months before the voting date, equal access to the public media during campaign periods and a transparent constituency delimitation process.
The opposition also wants the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be given the sole mandate of administering all election related functions such as voter registration and the invitation of foreign observers.
Simpkins, who is the director in the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations, said the parties’ “no reforms no elections” policy was as good as “there is no opposition in the country”.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said their decision to boycott elections was made for Zimbabweans the party represents, not the Americans.
“We don’t think on behalf of the Americans,” Gutu responded.
“They are perfectly entitled to hold their own views.
“We are on the ground here in Zimbabwe and whatever decisions and resolutions that we take are fully and adequately informed by the prevailing local conditions and scenarios.”
Jacob Mafume, the MDC Renewal spokesperson, said although it was “amazingly idiotic” of fellow MDC-T to cause the just ended 14 by -elections and “then imperiously declare that they would not participate”, their reasons for not participating in national elections without reforms remain genuine.
“No matter how many times you fetch water with a leaking bucket you will learn no new lesson if you do not plug the leak or fetch using a new bucket,” said Mafume.
The US is one of the western countries which joined the opposition in discrediting the July 31st, 2013 elections which saw President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party getting the majority of seats.
America, Australia and the European Union cited the issuing of voters’ registration slips and marshalling of the electorate to the polls by Zanu PF as electoral fraud.
NewZimbabwe.com reported last week that smaller parties said they were not going to boycott future elections.
The smaller parties said staying away from the polls was tantamount to giving Zanu PF ground and space to entrench its hold on the political scene.