"We won’t go for elections untill all reforms are met" – MDC-T

HARARE – The MDC-T says it will not go for elections under the current Lancaster House Constitution and before agreed electoral reforms are implemented.

Secretary-general Tendai Biti wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairman, Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, listing 18 demands his party want met before they could participate in any election.

President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have said they want elections this year with or without a new constitution.

The President said he was unlikely to extend the life of the inclusive government which he said was unworkable and unsustainable.

The Global Political Agreement which brought about
the inclusive government does not give a specific lifespan to the GNU but says at the expiry of the two-year period, which is on Friday, the three principals have to meet to chart the way forward.

Zanu PF has already rolled out its election campaign machinery one of whose targets is to collect over 2 million signatures supporting its anti-sanctions petition.

In the letter to Zec, the MDC-T said they wanted the voters’ roll cleaned up and have state security agents allegedly seconded to Zec removed.

“I write to express dissatisfaction with the current state of the voters’ roll.

“As you may be aware, the current voters’ roll contains names of people who are dead, some who have ceased to be citizens of Zimbabwe and some born in 2008 and therefore do not qualify to be on the voters’ roll because of their age. 

“Given this scenario it is our humble request that a new voters’ roll be compiled and that the same must be a biometric voters’ roll,” said Biti.

MDC-T demands include the need to put in place a legal framework to allow for timeous announcement of election results and the policing of the electoral environment by Sadc six months before, during and six months after the elections.

The party also demanded political parties be given the freedom to campaign, hold peaceful meetings and rallies and demonstrations.

They were also demanding that security agents and members of the uniformed forces be kept away from political parties’ campaigning programmes.

“There is also the need to ensure full realisation of
media freedom and to prevent Zanu PF from abusing state resources, in particular diamonds in Chiadzwa,” said Biti.

Mutambanengwe was not available for comment and his office said he would be in next week.

MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa on Thursday said his party was in constant interaction with Zec “to try and deal with a plethora of the people’s concerns around election management”. – NewsDay