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Chamisa to ‘boycott’ elections?

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa would have to satisfy demands from the MDC Alliance before proclaiming a date for elections, the opposition coalition candidate and MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa (pictured) said yesterday.

Chamisa told journalists at a press briefing in Harare that his party would not allow Mnangagwa to run an election if it was not satisfied with reforms.

“Mnangagwa cannot call for an election without the MDC, we have a huge following in this country, probably the biggest support. We will not accept a drama of an election,” he declared.

“It is not for Zanu-PF to define the election.

“We are prepared to surrender ourselves before we surrender the people’s will and the values of the liberation struggle based on one man one vote.

“It’s either a free and fair election or no election. I will not tell you what action we will take but make no mistake we will not accept anything less.”
Chamisa said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) needed re-configuration.

“We have done a forensic audit of who does what in the Zec secretariat and most of these are of dubious credentials, apart from those who of course served the army and left.

“Former members of the military can of course serve in any State institution but there are people from spooky organisations and we must chlorinate them because they contaminate Zec.

“It does not inspire confidence to continue to have them. We will engage Zec, if they want they can share with the public,” he said.

Chamisa said reports that Mnangagwa had deployed the military in rural areas ahead of the elections were true.

“I can confirm that we are receiving reports of people claiming to be from the military,” he said.

“Most of them are stationed in the rural areas undercover as Agricultural Extension Officers or champion farmers.

“They are co-ordinating Zanu-PF activities.

“We have heard they are called ‘boys-on-leave’ marshalling traditional leaders into the process of collecting biometric voter registration serial numbers.”

Chamisa said Mnangagwa’s silence betrayed his hand in the military shenanigans.

“It is surprising that President Mnangagwa has not said anything. We have brought this constitutional violation to his attention, but we are worried he has done nothing,” the MDC-T leader said.

“They are threatening a repeat of 2008 and telling traditional leaders that if Chamisa wins, they will be removed.

“It’s now localised intimidation in line with the polling station based voting system.”

While reports indicate political parties, including the MDC-T represented in Parliament had inked a deal on reforms, Chamisa said Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi “was playing games”.

“The minister of Justice (Ziyambi) has told us that the issue of the ballot printing is a security issue,” he said.

“They have not adopted what we have recommended. They (Zanu-PF) are stubborn, they want to go back to electoral skulduggery.”

Chamisa said he was saddened by the “people’s sorry predicament” epitomised by the continuing cash shortages.

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