ZEC Must Apologize For ‘Mouthful Arrogance’: MDC Alliance

Opposition Movement For Democratic Change has challenged the electoral mother body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to publicly apologize over its their failure to provide election materials on time.

In a statement released today, Jameson Timba, Chief Election Agent for the MDC Alliance Presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa accused ZEC of turning a deaf ear to the constitution after Commission chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba announced that all complaints and grievances will only be heard after polls.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has failed to meet its legal and constitutional obligation to provide election materials timely with reference to the voters roll and as such it owes the people of Zimbabwe an apology rather than a mouthful of arrogance by suggesting that if they are any anomalies in the voters roll we should stomach it and raise any complaints after the election and that only an earthquake will stop the election,” said Timba in a statement.

“In the circumstances, the ZEC Chair’s comments are a cause for concern. Our election must be conducted in terms of the constitution and as such must be grounded on the principles of freeness, fairness and transparency as outlined in the constitution,” added Timba.

He dismissed Chigumba’s utterance as irrelevant which might result in the electorate’s loss of confidence.

“With all due respect to the Chairperson of ZEC, Justice Chigumba, these utterances are not expected from a Public officer whose task amongst others is to instill confidence in an electoral process by assuring the nation that preparations for the plebiscite are being done with due care and transparently,” said Timba.

He also complained that the party has not yet received the voters roll despite the pre-requisite that contesting parties and candidates must have a copy of the voters register prior to the sitting of the nomination court.

“As the representative of a Presidential candidate I was entitled to receive the National voters roll before the nomination court. To-date we do not have that roll which they said will be availed on Thursday. This is unacceptable. On Thursday I expect to receive a biometric voters roll because that’s what the law demands in addition to receiving the roll in any form I choose including electronic,” he said.

Timba said the credibility of any election among other things depends on the existence and availability to all players of a credible voters roll that is distributed timely.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) expressed reservations regarding the final Voters’ Roll, saying while it is essential for the electoral mother body to share the final roll, doing so in isolation of other rolls is inadequate.

“ERC is concerned that ZEC hurriedly publicized the final Voters’ Roll before affording stakeholders an opportunity to scrutinize the draft rolls that were created before the final roll.

“These include the version used for the inspection exercise, the version that was gazette and proclaimed on 29 May 2018 prior to the proclamation of the election, and the version utilized for nomination of candidates.

“The opportunity to raise objections on the roll published for inspection was not given and this is contrary to provisions of the Electoral Act and ZEC’s own procedures for inspection. Without tracking the changes that have been made to the roll, an audit of the final roll will be purely academic,” noted ERC.

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