SOME contestants in the general election at the end of this month say they decided to take part despite obvious electoral flaws not because they want to legitimise the election but to expose Za
nu PF’s penchant for fraud and its inability to run a free and fair election.
Independent candidate for Harare Central, Margaret Dongo, said nowhere in the world is there a perfect voters’ roll, but what she and other government opponents were doing was to challenge an entrenched system in which the ruling party monopolises power using fraudulent means.
“The opposition has participated in elections in many parts of Africa such as Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and others in conditions that favoured the ruling party but they have confronted and overcome administrative hurdles mounted in their way and triumphed. It is possible to do the same here,” Dongo said.
Dongo said her participation stemmed from a desire to redeem a system that shortchanges the electorate into a new era of representative politics.
David Coltart, the opposition MDC legislator for Bulawayo South, said his party’s participation would not legitimise the election but expose Zanu PF’s dismal failure to adhere and fulfill conditions set out in the Sadc protocol on the conduct of free and fair elections.
“There is hardly one single condition set out in the protocol that Zanu PF has fulfilled. But we had to choose between giving Zanu PF an election on a silver platter and taking part to expose its inability to conduct fair polls and its ineptness in effecting electoral reforms,” he said.
He said precedents in several African countries were for opposition parties to take part in elections, even when the odds are weighted against them. The MDC, he added, did not want to let down its constituents who overwhelmingly demanded that they take part in the election.
Meanwhile, the National Constitutional Assembly’s (NCA) political parties liaison committee has expelled five constituent parties from the committee for participating in what it calls “bogus elections currently being held under an undemocratic constitution”.
Wurayayi Zembe, chairman of the liaison committee, said the MDC, Zanu (Ndonga), National Alliance for Good Governance, Zimbabwe African People’s Union-Federal Party and Multiracial Open Party — Christian Democrats, had been expelled from the committee.
In a statement this week, Zembe said the five parties were guilty of abandoning agreed common positions, resolutions and policies of strategic action of the NCA in its struggle for a new democratic constitution in Zimbabwe.