MDC Alliance threatens protests against BVR

HARARE – The MDC Alliance has threatened to stage protests against proclaimed dates for voter registration, arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is unprepared for the process.

Blessing Mashaya

This comes after President Robert Mugabe said in an official government notice that the Zec would start registering voters on September 14 and would end the process on January 15 next year.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Ngarivhume said they are pursuing legal process to challenge the proclamation, but if that fails, they will go into the streets and demonstrate.

The MDC Alliance was formed last month at the historic Zimbabwe Grounds, where veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai sealed an electoral pact with seven political parties that include formations which sprung out of the MDC in 2005 and 2014, namely Welshman Ncube’s MDC and Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to challenge Mugabe in next year’s crunch elections.

“The proclamation is illegal, we are going to pursue legal route and we are also going to protest. We know that this is the beginning of rigging,” Ngarivhume told the Daily News after the Kadoma workshop where Tsvangirai was taken sick.

“In our workshop, serious concerns were raised over the launching of BVR voter registration by Zec with only 400 of the 3 000 kits available, including no clarity on the status of the servers for data storage.

“A strategy and roadmap to the 2018 elections was discussed and agreed.  The alliance partners agreed to continue fighting for electoral reforms for the 2018 election to be credible, free and fair.”

Ngarivhume said the partners agreed to continuously engage on issues pertinent to the health and well-being of the alliance as a matter of principle.

“The workshop presented a great opportunity for the team as a trust or confidence building exercise between alliance partners, synergising on areas of strength.

“It was agreed that 2018 is a watershed election and as such the Alliance forged a watershed strategy and implementation matrix to match.

“We will continue to fight for electoral reforms ahead of next year’s elections. Recommendations from the workshop will be tabled at the next principals’ meeting for adoption next week,” Ngarivhume said. – Daily News