BULAWAYO — The two MDCs have insisted that in the absence of security sector reforms, foreign observers are needed to monitor the forthcoming elections.
REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Contributing to an election debate series organised by Bulawayo Agenda last week, the MDCs said peace and regional stability was depended upon Zimbabwe holding credible elections monitored by observers from the continent and elsewhere.
“We need the Sadc, African Union, United Nations and other international observers to come
to ensure a smooth transfer of power,” Tapiwa Mashakada, the MDC-T deputy secretary general said during the debate series held at the Large City hall.
Mashakada, who is also the Minister for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, added: “We need these observers to help us hold a free and fair election to ensure peace and regional stability.”
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the secretary general for the MDC, said in the absence of security sector reforms, it was difficult to guarantee free and fair elections.
She appealed to the security chiefs to respect the will of the people in the event that Zanu PF lost the election.
“On security sector reforms, all that we are simply saying to the security chiefs and those in the state security organs is that they should respect the will of the people to ensure peace after the elections. “That is all we are asking for.”
In 2008, the MDC-T accused the military of leading a violent campaign for the re-election of President Robert Mugabe. The party said 200 of its supporters were murdered.
Zanu-PF insists that western observers will not be allowed to monitor the elections, arguing they were hostile and harboured a vendetta against the former liberation movement.
Recently, Foreign Affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said western observers were not welcome as long as sanctions were still in place.
While the MDC’s have been calling for security sector reforms before elections, Zanu PF officials have argued that this was not necessary and not part of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said that the push for security sector reforms was driven by an illegal regime change agenda.