Norman Muchemwa in Mutare
MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday made a stunning demand by calling for the disbandment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the constitution of an independent commission made up Sadc (Southern African Development Community) and the AU (African Union) to preside over the July 30 elections.
Ironically, Mr Chamisa was a part of a Committee on Standing Rules and Orders – a policy making organ of Parliament – that participated in the appointment of ZEC commissioners.
Addressing a rally at Sakubva Stadium here yesterday, Mr Chamisa said the new elections management body should involve Sadc and the African Union.
“Our position as the MDC Alliance is that (ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla) Chigumba and her commission should accede to our demands, failure to which we want them to step aside,” he said.
“We now need an independent electoral body before the elections, which should include Sadc and the African Union. We are now at a stage where we say enough is enough and we have support for our position.”
Mr Chamisa alleged ballot papers were being printed outside the country.
ZEC has said ballot papers were printed by Fidelity Printers and Refiners in Harare.
All parties contesting the upcoming polls were invited by ZEC to witness the printing of the voting materials on June 29.
But ZEC says the goodwill gesture is not provided for by the law.
Mr Chamisa yesterday questioned the design and alignment of the ballot paper. “We are not sure if ZEC printed the ballot paper in the country,” he said.
“There is no evidence that the ballot papers were printed here. We believe the ballot papers were printed outside Zimbabwe.
“So we are not going to agree to go for an election unless we agree on the issue of the handling of the ballot papers,” he said.
The MDC-Alliance leader threatened unspecified action if election results do not go his way. “We are going to announce a programme that we have against rigging of elections next week (this week). We are going to resist any attempt to rig elections in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Chamisa maintained that if elected to power, his government would rename Zimbabwe to Great Zimbabwe.
Addressing the same rally, MDC-Alliance principal Mr Tendai Biti threatened to prematurely announce election results just after polling ends.
“In 2008, I was sent to prison after announcing the election results that Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had won. Let me tell you that on 1 August, we are going to announce the results at Meikles Hotel that Mr Chamisa has won.”
Mr Biti claimed that the British and the American investors have promised them bucket loads of money should they be elected as the next government.
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