Chamisa’s ally says MDC has no capacity to mobilise 1,6m voters

Chalton Hwende

THE opposition MDC Alliance has called for “genuine” opposition political activism in 2022 and civil society support to mobilise 1,6 million voters for the forthcoming 2023 plebiscite.

MDC Alliance secretary-general Charlton Hwende told NewsDay that the ruling Zanu-PF government could only be toppled if the opposition and civic society organisation work together.

The party, led by Nelson Chamisa, is targeting to get six million votes during next year’s harmonised elections and has invited students, labour, women organizations and citizens in general to join hands.

However, their plans may be thwarted by that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) recently announced that it registered only 2000 virgin voters in 2021, a far cry from the 1,6 million new voters targeted by the MDC Alliance.

“Now that the holiday is over, the MDC Alliance now starts the journey to State House. We need to register close to 1,6 million new voters. No single political party has the capacity to mobilise and get 1,6 million new voters. This is a mammoth task that must be done anyway, even with Zec throwing spanners at us,” Hwende tweeted.

He later told NewsDay that the voter mobilisation drive was an on-going campaign to ensure that every citizen is eligible to vote, and is given the necessary information on requirements to register.

Political analyst, Rashweat Makundu said there is need to depoliticise the voter registration process and to look at it as a national duty since it is going to benefit everyone.

“The process of voting and participation in elections is not only a political party issue but also a national governance process which needs all actors to participate beyond political parties. So the MDC Alliance is certainly right that voter registration mobilisation should not be politicised.

“It is the highest form of participation and ownership of governance processes by the citizens, which they elect leaders of their choice. Those whom we elect are responsible for managing our resources for policy making and also implementing our development needs,” Mukundu said.

On the issue of Zec claiming to have registered nearly 3 000 virgin voters in 2021, MDC Alliance secretary for elections Ian Makone said the most important thing right now was for Zec to produce the latest voters roll.

“We are demanding Zec to give us the latest voter’s roll as at 31st December 2021. The latest one they gave us is of July. The figures that they are giving us about registered voters are very suspicious. It’s a requirement that they must issue the correct national statistics, but they have refused to do so,” Makone said.

Source – NewsDay