HARARE – MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has urged opposition parties to boycott next weekend’s election, which he feels is unfairly skewed in favour of the ruling Zanu PF.
The politician, who recently withdrew from the presidential race citing a ZEC ban on 87 aspiring party MPs over nomination payment issues, was speaking at a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) dialogue on upcoming elections.
He also accused the controversial poll management authority of attempts to punish his party for challenging the delimitation report in court.
Mwonzora said it was “foolish” for opposition parties to participate in elections marred by gross anomalies and electoral irregularities.
“Participating in this election is an act of foolish bravery.
“This election is stacked against the opposition; already, laws are being changed as the election process is going on.
“There is selective application of the law; some people are being arrested, some people are not being arrested,” he said.
Mwonzora and his party have announced plans to stage a street protest in Harare this Friday over ZEC’s decision to exclude the 87 party candidates.
He accused ZEC of manipulating census data “to steal elections”.
This comes after ZEC has added over 1,000 new polling stations which were not included in its delimitation report in areas seen as Zanu PF strongholds.
“The constitution says that you must do delimitation after a census and you don’t consider the census. And you couldn’t consider the census because the census results are not out,” said the politician.
“And why would the government not release census results for a year; it is because the census information is being used to steal the election.
“There has been a serious rural-urban migration in Zimbabwe and places like Harare must have actually gained 5 seats and what did they do.
“They took one seat from Bulawayo and gave it to Harare. This was gerrymandering at its worst.
“Right now, ZEC is changing boundaries in the middle of an election. It has added more than 1,000 new polling stations that it did not have in its report.
“Who has influenced where to station these polling stations and what is the pattern?
“The pattern is clear; the polling stations are not being increased in Harare.
“They are being increased in Uzumba, Mwenezi and Chiredzi South; those areas Zanu PF tends to score abnormal votes and my brothers and sisters within the opposition are not seeing this.”
Speaking at the launch of his party’s manifesto in Bulawayo recently, CCC leader and party presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa vowed the main opposition party will not pull out of the poll even in the face of glaring cheating manoeuvres by the ruling Zanu PF authority.
“We will fight them in the courts, we will fight them at the ballot box and, if necessary, we will fight them in the streets. We won’t give up because we have the support of the people, but above all God is on our side,” said Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer and pastor. – ZimLive