OPPOSITION MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora has accused Zanu PF of blocking an offer to train 99 000 election agents by an undisclosed non-governmental organisation (NGO).
The MDC leader made the claims during his election manifesto launch at the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House headquarters in Harare.
Mwonzora said an unnamed NGO approached MDC, Zanu PF and the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) with an offer to train 33 000 election agents from each party ahead of the elections. The training sought to equip polling agents with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure transparency and accountability during the electoral process.
“A certain NGO had come forward offering to train the polling agents from the main political parties so that the election will be free and fair. The political parties had agreed on modalities and it was all systems go. However, Zanu PF realising that it has access to State resources decided to veto and block the process,” Mwonzora said.
“Polling agents play a crucial role in ensuring the transparency and fairness of elections. They are responsible for monitoring the voting process, verifying the identity of voters, and ensuring that all votes are counted accurately.
“By blocking the training of polling agents, Zanu PF is effectively limiting the ability of opposition parties to monitor the electoral process and protect the rights of voters.”
Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa were fruitless as he did not answer his mobile phone.
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Some opposition parties are, meanwhile, reportedly struggling to raise money to train polling agents.
In June, Zanu PF warned political rivals against accepting a US$10 million donation offered by Western countries through their agencies for training of election agents.
Zanu PF secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa claimed the donation was a strategy to support Nelson Chamisa’s CCC.