The secretary-general of the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC, Douglas Mwonzora said the two main reasons for the demonstration will be the decision by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to refuse political parties the chance to observe the printing of the ballot papers, and the ZEC’s failure to avail a copy of the voters’ roll.
“The latest actions by ZEC are meant to assist ZANU-PF steal the people’s victory,” Mwonzora said. “
Never again shall this be allowed to happen. Therefore, we must assemble at Africa Unity Square in our numbers around 10 am and march to ZEC offices where we will present our petition. Thereafter, we go back to Africa Unity Square to be addressed by our leaders.”
Mwonzora insisted that this should be a peaceful demonstration.
“There should not be any violence against anybody. There should not be any breakage or destruction of property nor any looting of shops. Ours is a just cause. This is the time to unite. Together we will win,’ he said.
ZEC chairperson Priscillah Chigumba said her organisation had gone out of its way to build consensus but was making no headway and might therefore decide to go it alone as dictated by the law.
This year’s elections have been the most peaceful so far, only being marred by a grenade blast at White City Stadium on 23 June which injured 49 people, two of whom died later in hospital.
The stakes seem to favour President Emmerson Mnangagwa with academic and Zimbabwe watcher Stephen Chan saying Mnangagwa does not need to cheat as he is assured of victory.
Chamisa insists he can only lose the elections if Mnangagwa rigs them otherwise Mnangagwa would be lucky to get away with 5 percent of the vote in a free and fair election.
Some observers, however, says the nation will be shocked by Mnangagwa’s victory and could easily be persuaded that he rigged the elections.
Mnangagwa seems to have the support of traditional chiefs and churches, two powerful organs in society.