President Emmerson Mnangagwa is desperate to hold elections because he “is smelling a humiliating and crushing electoral defeat” and as such he is literally clutching at straws; desperately trying to unfairly tilt the electoral playing field in its favour, the country major opposition party said today.
Mnangagwa has announced that elections will be held before July this year and will be free and fair. International observers will be welcome to witness the elections, he said.
The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai, however, today said while Mnangagwa was telling the world over and over again that this year’s elections will be free and fair, the situation on the ground was totally different.
“In virtually all the country’s rural areas, people have been forced to surrender the serial numbers of their biometric voter registration slips to their local village heads and ZANU-PF officials. This has been a systematic campaign of psychological and emotional terror meant to instil fear in the rural electorate so that they are compelled to vote for ZANU-PF in the forthcoming elections,” the party said..
“This psychological terror campaign has now reached the cities because in certain parts of Highfield and Hopley in the capital city, Harare, ZANU-PF officials have embarked on a door to door campaign forcing people to surrender serial numbers of their voter registration slips. Needless to state, this reprehensible and unlawful practice can never be consistent with a desire to conduct a free and fair election.”
It said these concerns have been raised with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“We sincerely hope and trust that ZEC will do whatever it takes to make sure that all electoral malpractices are completely eliminated in time for the elections,” the party said.
It also said it is aware that soldiers in civilian clothes have been deployed in rural areas to campaign for ZANU-PF while traditional leaders are being used as political commissars.
“No rocket science is needed to ascertain that ZANU-PF is smelling a humiliating and crushing electoral defeat in this year’s harmonised elections and as such, the Mnangagwa administration is literally clutching at straws; desperately trying to unfairly tilt the electoral playing field in its favour,” the party said.
There is disagreement within ZANU-PF itself over when the elections will be held with Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi saying they will be held between 23 July and 21 August.
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