MDC accuses ZEC of bias

Constantine Chimakure/ Lucia Makamure



THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led faction of the MDC yesterday wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) alleging that it (ZEC) was bei

ng used by the government to rig next year’s harmonised elections on behalf of Zanu PF through the manipulation of the voters’ roll and delimitation of ward and constituency boundaries, among others.


In the letter signed by the party’s secretary for elections Ian Makone, the MDC said it had pointed out to ZEC in previous correspondences that the recently concluded mobile voter registration exercise was “opaque, biased in favour of perceived ruling party strongholds, poorly publicised and executed”.


The MDC said it would not accept the exercise.


“Given the problems surrounding the exercise and a pittance of new voters who got registered, the MDC would like to disassociate itself from such an exercise which was carried out in disregard of Zimbabweans’ democratic right to register as voters,” Makone wrote.


He said an audit recently carried out by the MDC shows that not only is the voters’ roll unacceptably flawed, but it was also unusable.


“It is full of dead and ghost voters,” Makone wrote. “To this should be added a significant number of people who were displaced by Operation Murambatsvina from urban centres, which are predominantly MDC.”


He said this had disenfranchised a “whole segment of our society and your commission has a responsibility to ensure that these people are re-enfranchised, wherever they may now be residing”.


Makone also alleged that as a result of a poorly-executed voter registration exercise, the delimitation programme would also be ipso facto flawed.


“The MDC cannot be expected to accept a delimitation exercise that is based on inaccurate statistics of registered voters,” he complained.


The party said it does not recognise the current delimitation, arguing that this process must await the outcome of the Sadc-initiated talks between the opposition and Zanu PF.


“In view of the above, I am directed
to advise you that the MDC will not participate in the current consultations on delimitation. We look forward to being invited for the consultation at the conclusion of the inter-party dialogue,” Makone added.


Meanwhile, the opposition has accused the police of banning its rallies across the country and an escalation of violence against its members.


The accusations were made by party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa in his recent address to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly and by Tsvangirai in Kampala, Uganda, last week when he addressed the Commonwealth People’s Forum.


“Meetings of the opposition continue to be interfered with. As of the month of November over 244 meetings of the opposition had either been unilaterally cancelled or interfered with by the police,” Chamisa said. “Political violence against members of the opposition continue particularly in the rural areas where supporters of the opposition are targeted for harassment, intimidation and assault.”


The MDC said the escalation of violence against democratic forces was a matter raised with the government and South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in his capacity as the mediator in the MDC and Zanu PF dialogue.


“More than 2 000 cases of human rights violations have been reported to date within a period of six months. Democratic and peaceful expression by civic groups such as the National Constitutional Assembly, Women of Zimbabwe Arise, Zimbabwe National Students Union and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions have been brutally crushed resulting in many activists being either detained, assaulted or sustaining injuries,” the MDC said.