Opposition push Mnangagwa for electoral reforms

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s main opposition has reportedly said that there would not be any elections without the necessary electoral reforms.

Speaking to journalists in Harare this week, the Movement for Democratic Change leader, Nelson Chamisa said that his party would not allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa to run an election if it was not satisfied with reforms, reported the privately owned NewsDay.

Chamisa said that without his party an election was unlikely going to happen as the “leading” opposition party in the country the MDC would not accept a “drama of an election.”

The opposition presidential candidate said that he did not trust the electoral body as it was filled with Mnangagwa’s allies from the military.

“We have done a forensic audit of who does what in the Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) secretariat and most of these are of dubious credentials, apart from those who of course served the army and left. Former members of the military can of course serve in any State institution but there are people from spooky organisations and we must chlorinate them because they contaminate Zec.

“It does not inspire confidence to continue to have them. We will engage Zec, if they want they can share with the public,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.

 

This comes a week after a senior government official had said they were on the verge of introducing electoral reforms.

According to NewsDay, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a local radio station during a heated debate with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Jacob Mafume that the country’s “contentious electoral law” would likely be amended this month.

The justice minister was, however, not specific about the amendment’s finalisation time frame but said he expected the process to be finished within two weeks.

The southern African country is expected to hold a crunch election in July.

President Mnangagwa vowed to hold fair elections to ensure Zimbabwe “engages the world as a qualified democratic state”, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.

Under ex-president Robert Mugabe, who had ruled since 1980, Zimbabwean elections were marred by vote rigging, intimidation and violent suppression of the opposition.

Mnangagwa was one of Mugabe’s closest allies in the ruling Zanu-PF party, and he is accused of playing a key role in the authoritarian regime that left the economy in ruins.

Mugabe, 94, was forced to quit when the military took power and once-loyal Zanu-PF lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against him.