By Chris Mahove
MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa says the African Union and SADC should step in and run Zimbabwe’s looming elections insisting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was not capable of delivering a credible election.
Chamisa, who poses the biggest threat to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s continued rule, was addressing a press conference at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, Harare Wednesday.
He said he had great reservations over the impartiality of ZEC and threatened to stay out of the July 30 election for as long as there was no openness on the printing of the ballot paper.
“The fulcrum of a free, fair and credible election is the referee. Our referee is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The referee must not only be fair but it must be seen to be fair.
“We have serious concerns over the conduct of our referee which we believe is acting in a manner that is inconsistent with the standards of fair play,” he said
He added; “We therefore, call upon SADC, the AU and the international community to intervene and save the collapsing process and avert an imminent legitimacy crisis.”
The young presidential hopeful said they were planning to dispatch representatives to SADC and AU to exercise their influence on the Zimbabwean government to see through a free and fair plebiscite.
Chamisa said the country’s disputed past polls plunged the country into a legitimacy crisis, which he said could only be resolved if the Zanu PF led government committed to clean polls.
Despite claims it had opened up the printing of ballot papers to opposition scrutiny, Chamisa said ZEC still continued to deny Zanu PF opponents the opportunity to observe the process.
Chamisa called on ZEC to provide the full version of the voters roll and to be more open on the distribution of polling stations.
“We are not by any chance disillusioned in our demand for transparency. We are quite informed on the mechanisms used in the past to manipulate the vote using the voters roll, ballot papers and polling station deployments,” he said.
The country’s main opposition is up in arms the ZEC secretariat was stuffed with serving members of the military and CIO who are deployed there to rig the poll in Zanu PF’s favour.
The military, however, refuted the allegations Wednesday with the ZDF Director of Public Relations, Overson Mugwisi insisting the army was not in any way involved in party politics.