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MDC calls for demilitarisation of villages- says thousands of army officers are carrying out clandestine ZANU-PF campaign

Full statement

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

MDC holds its first National Standing Committee meeting in 2018

Acting MDC President Eng. Elias Mudzuri today chaired the first meeting of the MDC national standing committee in 2018 at Harvest House. The meeting which noted that the party remains solidly united behind the visionary leadership of President Morgan Tsvangirai discussed various pertinent party and national issues.

The meeting appreciated the tremendous work by party cadres at various levels in the on-going biometric voter registration blitz. Acting President Mudzuri encouraged all party cadres to remain focused and united as we mobilize eligible Zimbabweans to go out and register as voters.

The need to hold free, fair and credible harmonized elections in 2018 was emphasised. As such, the MDC would like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), to compile a credible national voters’ roll in time for the 2018 elections. Amongst other important issues, it was also stressed that all election materials, including the ballot papers, must be procured in a transparent and credible manner that will enable all stakeholders to be satisfied with the level of transparency and accountability. More importantly, the meeting also resolved that there must be a clear and concise road map towards the holding of the harmonized elections this year.

The MDC calls upon the government, in conjunction with ZEC, to provide clear timelines as to when the elections will be held this year. Our impeccable party intelligence has since gathered information to the effect that there are untoward and improper machinations that the Mnangagwa administration is currently pursuing in order to delay and/or postpone the holding of elections when they are due. The Zanu PF government is clearly aware that the MDC and its Alliance partners will romp to a resounding electoral victory in any free and fair election.

The MDC is also deeply concerned by the continued militarisation of villages around the country. We have got solid and incontrovertible evidence pointing to the fact that thousands of army officers in civilian attire have been deployed in the countryside for the purposes of carrying out clandestine political campaigns on behalf of Zanu PF.

We demand the immediate and unconditional demilitarisation of all our villages and other communities. People shouldn’t be forced to surrender their BVR serial numbers to village heads and Zanu PF officials. The secrecy and privacy of all voter registration information should be strictly observed and upheld.

We also demand that the 2018 elections should be SADC, AU and UN guaranteed. Basically, this means that the elections have to receive the seal of approval from all these very important organisations in order to ensure that they are free and fair and also that they will produce a credible result that reflects the true will of the people. In this respect, therefore, the MDC also calls upon the top commanders of the Zimbabwe National Defence Forces to unequivocally and publicly state that they will accept the outcome of free and fair elections regardless of whoever is going to win these elections.

Last but certainly not least, the MDC is also demanding that the public broadcaster, i.e. the Zimbabwe Broadcasting television station and all its four radio stations should be accessible to all political players in tandem with the dictates of the national constitution. Presently, ZBC TV and ZBC radio stations are the exclusive domain of the Zanu PF government and are, in fact, virtually closed to all opposition political players.

MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson

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