We want a free, fair vote in 2018, Zim opposition tells electoral body

2016-10-18 13:17


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Harare – Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, has called upon the country's electoral body to "put all the necessary systems in place" to ensure that the upcoming 2018 elections are free and fair.

In a statement, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should work with all political parties.

"Election 2018 is less than 24 months away and this is the time for ZEC to put all the necessary systems in place to ensure that the elections produce a result that is credible and legitimate; a result that is beyond contestation, thus underlying the need for the holding of free and fair elections," said Gutu.

ZEC chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau recently announced  that the electoral reforms would cost about $30m and that both the government and donors will fund the process.

However, according to Gutu, it was important that ZEC worked with all stake holders to ensure that "as far as is practically possible, the next elections are free and fair".

Gutu further called on the electoral body to make public the list of those who would be financially supporting it to organise the elections.

Financial contribution 

He said his party was concerned over the lack of transparency on the part of the electoral body over the years.

"We all know that the government of Zimbabwe is nearly bankrupt and that it will most likely be unable to make any significant financial contribution to meeting the said cost. Thus, it is incumbent upon ZEC to make a full public disclosure of the names of the donors who will be funding this process.

"As the MDC, we are extremely concerned about the lack of transparency pertaining to the manner in which ZEC generally conducts its affairs.  There is a very disturbing and worrisome veneer of secrecy surrounding such issues as where and who prints ballot papers, who supply the indelible ink that is used at polling stations etc," said Gutu.

A coalition of opposition parties under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and ZEC recently failed to reach an agreement on some of the key issues raised by the opposition parties.

The Zimbabwean opposition demanded, among other issues that those living in the diaspora be allowed to vote in the next election. 

They also wanted ZEC to introduce the biometric vote and to allow the United Nations to run the elections. 

But the election agency said it was not opposed to the diaspora vote, adding, however, that there was "no funding for the necessary logistical arrangements". 

Read more on:    zec  |  mdc  |  obert gutu  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe 2018 election

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