ZAPU President, Dumiso Dabengwa has accused the Zanu PF-led government of using State resources to sponsor fringe political parties into taking part in the country’s harmonised elections.
This, he claimed, was aimed at giving the polls some semblance of legitimacy in the event mainstream opposition parties decided to pull out due to what they find as an electoral environment skewed in favour of the ruling party.
The opposition is up in arms with the current government’s continued failure to level the political playing field for the benefit of all competitors in the coming polls.
Among their demands is the scrapping of repressive laws that inhibit the free exercise of rights as well as access to the public media.
The opposition is also demanding transparency in the production of the biometric voter’s roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) amid fears the Zanu PF led government could try to manipulate the system in its favour.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Thursday, Dabengwa claimed that about 80 of the current political parties in the country were linked to Zanu PF.
“We are looking at the election and making our minds,” said the former Home Affairs Minister.
“Remember, there are over 100 opposition parties that have now been formed and I can assure you that 80 percent of them are state sponsored.
“Taking into account that some major opposition parties decide to boycott the elections, that 80% will contest the elections and of course they will lose.”
Zimbabwe has seen a proliferation of political parties in the past few years with Zec saying those that have registered with it were 107. More continue to be formed as the country nears the much-anticipated July polls.
Zec Commissioner Joyce Kazembe once derisively described some of the parties as family based.
In his comments, Dabengwa warned his opposition allies against abandoning elections and urged them to, instead, devise ways to counter Zanu PF’s election rigging tactics.
“So, the opposition has to weigh the situation very closely. They need to look at the rigging tactics. Fortunately, most of the rigging tactics have been exposed.
“Right now, 60 to 80 percent of the rigging machinery can be countered. The remaining percentage has got little effect,” Dabengwa said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government continue to deny any plans to or ever rigging the polls at any one time.
Since becoming State President in November last year, Mnangagwa has pledged to spruce up the country’s battered image through delivering free and fair elections.
His opponents say he has not followed his vows with tangible action on the ground.