MDC president Nelson Chamisa and nine other national standing committee members today held a two-hour briefing with the seven-member SADC Electoral Advisory Council at the party’s headquarters ahead of the watershed polls due in a few months time.

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 plebicite 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.

Chamisa implored the SADC observer 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.

The party’s secretary general Mr. Douglas Mwonzora said the government had starkly refused to implement key issues that would have assured stakeholders, among them issues to do with the auditing of the voters roll as well as the printing and auditing of the ballot papers, including the identity of the company that would print the ballots.

Notwithstanding the clear Constitutional provision and SADC guidelines on the conduct of elections, the government through the Ministry of Justice has refused allow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to exercise their right to vote.

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.

Luke Tamborinyoka
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications