The MDC-T chairman for Manicaland province, Julius Magarangoma, says that with the whole world keeping a close eye on Zimbabwe during this year’s election, violence will not be an option for ZANU PF. This is why the authorities are making such a determined effort to stop as many would be voters from registering as possible.
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The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Rita Makarau, says almost 120,000 people have visited the mobile voter registration centres in the last two weeks, to register as voters or to take out new ID’s and inspect the voters roll.
The MDC-T’s deputy Justice Minister, Obert Gutu, says despite persistent denials by ZANU PF that security sector reform is not part of the GPA, article 13 of the document clearly states there is a need to eliminate bias, unprofessionalism and partisanship from the country’s security forces.
The MDC-T provincial chairman for Mashonaland East, Piniel Denga, refutes accusations by ZANU PF’s Sydney Sekeramayi that their party is registering voters using other people’s houses and unoccupied flats. Denga says the accusations reflect how much the former ruling ZANU PF party has run out of ideas.
Lionel Saungweme, our Bulawayo correspondent, says residents in the city have raised an alarm over the manipulation of the voters roll as officials from the registrar-general’s office are depriving many residents the chance to register as voters.
Pedzisai Ruhanya, a director for the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, says it is foolhardy for any political analyst to predict that ZANU PF will cruise to a landslide victory against the MDC-T. You can’t base such an assumption on the voting pattern of the recent referendum.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora says he was pleasantly surprised by the record number of Zimbabweans that turned out to vote for the new constitution. He says it took voters just 30 seconds to cast their ballot, which is why few queues formed, leading to speculation of voter apathy. In previous elections it took 15 to minutes for a voter to go through the process.
Economic analyst Luke Zunga says it’s standard practice for the United Nations to ask any member state, requesting financial assistance for elections, to meet the obligations set out in the UN manual. Zunga adds that it is disingeous of ZANU PF to suggest the UN has set out unacceptable terms.
A media parliamentary committee, led by the MDC-T’s Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, is to conduct a workshop for editors on media ethics. As the country heads towards a referendum and then elections the MP says the workshop for editors from both the state and private media is aimed at enhancing journalists’ knowledge and understanding on the electoral process. He said it will also remind them about the problem of issues such as hate speech, that could trigger tensions ahead of elections.