MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa yesterday insisted the opposition will not boycott this year’s elections, but will vigorously push for electoral reforms before the polls.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Chamisa told a well-attended rally in Kwekwe that the opposition will no longer accept rigging of elections.
On Thursday, Chamisa told journalists after touring Parirenyatwa Hospital to assess the impact of the ongoing strike by doctors and nurses, that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had no choice but to facilitate holding of free and fair polls.
“I have indicated that we will make sure that we will not have an election that is not free and fair,” he said.
“I can repeat this to Mnangagwa, I can repeat it to his fans, I can repeat it to Sadc and to the AU [African Union] and this is what the people of Zimbabwe are saying.
“There will be no delay of an election, there will be reforms, it’s either reforms or there will be no elections which are not free and fair.
“That is our position and we are prepared to surrender ourselves before we surrender our victory,” said Chamisa.
The MDC-T last week met Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Sadc early observer team.
“What is clear is that Zimbabwe wants a free and fair election, but the government does not want a free and fair election,” Chamisa said.
“They are paying lip service to a free and fair election and we know that Mr Mnangagwa is just saying things that he is not prepared to execute.”
Apart from subjecting the biometric voters’ registration (BVR) to an audit, the MDC-T wants to have an input on who will print the ballot papers.
“We have said until and unless we have a voters’ roll audit, we are not going to accept any process that is outside that. Number two, we want to make sure that there is going to be an agreement on who is going to print the ballot papers. This thing of trying to nicodemously print ballot papers through Nikuv or any other Israeli, Chinese or any other, we will not accept,” Chamisa said.
“When we say we will not accept, it does not mean we will boycott an election.
“We will simply make sure that there is no election which is not free and fair.
“So there will never be an election in Zimbabwe, which is not free and fair.
“Let this message sink in the ears of Mr Mnangagwa and any of his supporters that we are not going to have business as usual, they cheated us in 2013, we will not allow them to repeat a 2013 in 2018,” he said.
Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo during a meeting with United Nations Development Programme administrator Achim Stenor said the government was committed to holding free and fair polls.