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MDC to weigh its options in future polls

Loughty Dube

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it is considering the possibility of not taking part in future general elections if the Zanu PF government continues flouting electoral p

rocedures.


The MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, told the Zimbabwe Independent in a wide-ranging interview that the opposition party would consider whether it was prudent to engage in elections when the notorious “Green Bombers” are still in existence and when the MDC is being denied a copy of the electronic voters’ roll.


“We cannot go into another general election when the state media and national radio and television are not accessible to the opposition and, worse still, when the Green Bombers are still in existence,” Coltart said. “We will come to a point when we will say unless we get an electronic voters’ roll then we have to reconsider our participation in future general elections.”


Coltart said ever since the party applied to the Supreme Court last year in a bid to force the Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to release the voters’ roll to the MDC there has not been any success in that area.


He said the Registrar-General’s office last week returned a $1 million cheque together with the MDC’s written request for a copy of the electronic voters’ roll.


“The Registrar-General returned our application fee of $1million for the provision of a copy of an electronic voters’ roll with the lame excuse that his department is engaged in a re-blocking exercise and was still working on the national voters’ roll,” Coltart said.


The re-blocking entails the revision of the population after an exercise that forces people to relocate to other areas thereby either depleting the voters’ blocks or expanding them.


“Mudede says they are re-blocking as a result of the land reform process but we want a national voters’ roll that is in existence and it is interesting to note that we have not even seen the voters’ roll used in the 2002 elections despite the fact that we got a copy (I think by mistake) before the elections,” Coltart said.


Turning to the recent Gutu North by-election, where Zanu PF’s Retired Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai beat the MDC’s Crispa Musoni by 20 699 to 7 291, Coltart said the results were positive for the MDC.


“We have held our course there, and with the closure of the Daily News and the unchallenged propaganda from ZBC the results in that scenario are very positive to the MDC,” he said.


Coltart said however it was peculiar that figures for people voting for Zanu PF in Gutu North had increased and said it was possible that the party had brought in people as the MDC had warned.


“Since 1990 the number of people voting in areas where Zanu PF is popular has increased while in urban areas the numbers remain the same and this runs contrary to census figures that indicate that the country’s population is declining,” he said.


In 1990 in Gutu North 12 409 people voted for Zanu PF while 7 657 voted for the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (Zum); in 2000 14 867 voted for Zanu PF while 8 159 voted for the MDC; in 2002 a total of 22 524 people voted for Zanu PF while 8 934 voted for the MDC.

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