MDC Alliance lays down gauntlet over electoral reforms





The Movement for Democratic Change Alliance today said it had resolved to go ahead with its planned demonstration to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the government to accede to its electoral reforms.

According to statement issued by the Alliance today, the demonstration will kick off from Africa Unity Square on Tuesday, 5 June.

Participants will march to the ZEC offices, then proceed to Munhumutapa building and return to Africa Unity Square where they will be addressed by the Alliance leadership.

The Alliance said it was concerned about the absence of reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

“We have on various platforms called for the implementation of reforms in line with the dictates of our Constitution, SADC guidelines governing the conduct of democratic elections and international standards but our calls have fallen on deaf ears,” the Alliance said.

“We have also noted that the elections management body ZEC has without consultations moved to increase polling stations to 11500.”

It said the ZEC was also not forthcoming on the following:

•       The printing and security of ballot papers.

•       The availability of the voters roll.

•       An external auditing of the voters roll.

•       Inspection of the voters roll by late registrants.

•       Inclusivity in the composition of the National Logistics Committee which in our view is an extension of the executive.

•       Militarization of the ZEC secretariat.

•       Militarization of the communities.

•       Unequal coverage on the state media.

The provisional voters’ roll was open for inspection from 19 May to 29 May and voter registration for those who want to participate in this year’s elections ends today.

The Electoral Amendment Act was passed on Monday and cannot be amended for this year’s elections.

The MDC failed to push its amendments to the Amendment Bill in Parliament because of its small representation in Parliament.

One critic has blamed the low representation to the MDC-T’s politics of vindictiveness whereby those who broke away from the party over leadership differences were expelled from the party which then boycotted the subsequent by-elections giving ZANU-PF some 18 seats which it had lost.