Chamisa Demands Election Reforms

Movement for Democratic Change leader, Nelson Chamisa has implored the visiting Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Advisory Council team to ensure that Zimbabwe complies with the SADC guidelines on the conduct of free and fair elections, adding that only a credible plebiscite would ensure a return of confidence and legitimacy in the country.

By Jeoffrey Ncube and Shorai Murwira

Chamisa raised his concern to the SADC observer team during a closed door two-hour meeting held at the MDC-T headquarters on Tuesday.

“Zimbabwean government has not been sincere on its commitment to a free, fair and credible plebiscite as it had not yet made public in substantive terms the road map to the next election.

“Also, the recommendations made by SADC in the 2013 election in terms of the implementation of key reforms had not yet been done, among them media reforms that would ensure equal coverage of all contesting parties,” said Chamisa.

According to MDC-T Pesidential spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, Chamisa raised issues to do with violence, the abuse of traditional leaders, the opaqueness around the printing and auditing of ballots, as well as the auditing of the voters, roll.

“President Chamisa told the delegation, led by Advocate Leshele Thoahlane, that the Zimbabwe government has not been sincere on its commitment to a free, fair and credible plebiscite as it had not yet made public in substantive terms the roadmap to the next election.

“He bemoaned the fact that the recommendations made by SADC in the 2013 election in terms of the implementation of key reforms had not yet been done, among them media reforms that would ensure equal coverage of all contesting parties.

“The MDC leader raised issues to do with violence, the abuse of traditional leaders, the opaqueness around the printing and auditing of ballots as well as the auditing of the voters roll. With a few months to go before the next election, there was neither agreement nor clarity on these key electoral matters.

“The party also told the SADC observer team that Zimbabweans wanted the army to undo their previous statements that they would not salute a President who did not participate in the liberation struggle by making a clear and unequivocal statement that they will this time respect the sovereign will of the people,” said Tamborinyoka.

He added that Chamisa urged SADC to be in solidarity with the Zimbabwean citizens not the leadership.

“President Chamisa urged SADC to be in solidarity with the Zimbabwean citizens and not with the country’s leaders by ensuring that the ordinary people’s sovereign will is guaranteed and protected,” he said.

Chamisa was in the company of seven other senior party officials including deputy national chairperson, Morgan Komichi, youth assembly chairperson  Happymore Chidziva, Women’s assembly chairperson Karenyi Kore and deputy treasurer-general  Charlton Hwende among others.

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