Zanu-PF: ZEC’s ‘sterling job’ deserves equal media coverage

2013-08-03 09:45

Zanu-PF has asked journalists to give their opinions the same coverage as that of the MDC-T, which has claimed the elections were rigged and therefore null and void.

Leading party member Patrick Chinamasa, who, in his capacity as justice minister, was responsible for overseeing the work of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, yesterday called a press conference on the 14th floor of the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare.

He said he wanted to “refute remarks which are even peddled in international news networks” that the elections were not fair.

“Please also give us that same coverage, that same publicity that the negative remarks are given,” he said.

Chinamasa said the ZEC had done a “sterling job” and “remained focused, notwithstanding the arrows thrown and pointed at them throughout the process”.

He said the ZEC wasn’t only made up of Zanu-PF members, but from all three parties represented in Parliament, including the MDC and the MDC-T.

“If there are any challenges it has nothing to do with political motivation, it’s administrative challenges. We are co-owners of ZEC. And I can understand if there are criticisms from parties not represented in Parliament, but for those of us in Parliament, ZEC is our baby.”

He said any criticism that the ZEC was partial “are unwarranted and uncalled for”.

He said 3.95 million voters, about two-thirds of those registered, went to vote, which was more than the 2.8 million who voted in the 2008 elections, which was followed by violence.

The MDC-T, which was trounced at the polls by Zanu-PF, has complained about serious irregularities and sources have mentioned taking to the streets as its only alternative now to pressure the international community into intervening in the result.

Observer bodies from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community said the elections appeared to be free because they were peaceful, but expressed concerns about the printing of two million extra ballot papers, more than the international standard, the very high number of assisted voters, and the number of people turned away from polling stations, which they are investigating.

The bias towards Zanu-PF in coverage by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has also been raised as a concern.

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