MDC leader threatens 'earthquake' as he vows to block elections

2018-07-05 17:50
Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (File, AFP)

Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (File, AFP)

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Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa made a veiled threat to boycott elections on July 30 if there is no agreement between the independent election agency and political parties on ballot papers, according to a report. 

NewsDay reports that Chamisa threatened to unleash an "earthquake" to block the country's forthcoming polls if his demands for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chief Priscilla Chigumba to ensure "free, fair and credible" elections were not met. 

Chamisa's threats came through his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda and his chief election agent Jameson Timba. 

"We will not arm the enemy by revealing what we will do. But rest assured there will not be an election if these demands are not met," Timba reportedly said.

Various red flags have been raised by the MDC Alliance in the build-up to the elections as it continues to claim anomalies in the voters' roll, printing of ballots, specimen provisions and the militarised style of the ZEC, according to NewZimbabwe.com.  

"It is Mnangagwa who needs an earthquake to make sure Chigumba moves. We don't need an earthquake to make sure we have a free and fair election. But we will have one," Sibanda was quoted as saying.

In an interview with News24, award-winning reporter Hopewell Chin'ono has challenged the MDC Alliance to produce evidence for its claim to be taken up by international observers. 

He said most who were election observers had turned against the opposition and now called them "cry babies". 

"The only thing that they can do is produce evidence to prove their allegations. Until then there is not much that the international community can do. In fact, some of the international observers are beginning to call them cry babies," said Chin'ono. 

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According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Chigumba dismissed claims on Monday by the MDC Alliance that the design of ballot papers favoured Mnangagwa.

The MDC Alliance is insisting on ballot papers being printed in South Africa and claims that the chosen state-owned Fidelity Printers has failed to meet the minimum requirements. 

"If Zambian companies had the capacity we could have gone there but [they don't]. The capacity does exist in South Africa," Timba reportedly said.

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