Chigumba hints at Chamisa poll demands snub

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has hinted it may not budge to continued opposition demands to bring about greater transparency in its handling of the country’s controversial poll processes.

This come after MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa led thousands of his supporters onto a street march to ZEC offices Wednesday to hand a petition with a list of demands from the poll authority ahead of the crucial July 30 election.

But at a media briefing Friday, ZEC chair, Priscilla Chigumba said her commission was yet to study opposition demands before responding to them.

“Indeed, we received the petition and we are preparing answers,” Chigumba said, adding that the main opposition’s demands were not any different from those which were rejected by her organisation when MDC staged a similar march last month.

“However,” she continued, “from our preliminary understanding of the petition, we realise it was not very different from previous ones and I can say the answers may not be very different. But we will provide responses.”

Her comments came at a routine stakeholder briefing of the commission’s state of preparedness updates with just over two weeks left of the country’s watershed polls.

The opposition has been demanding that ZEC stops its printing of ballots until such time there was consensus on the quality, quantity, administration and storage of the ballot.

The opposition is also clamouring for access by contestants to ballot printing amid continued fear the country’s polls were being rigged through the manipulation and inflation of ballot material.

Chigumba described such demands as “outrageous”.

The High Court judge said there was no legal obligation which compels ZEC to invite stakeholders to the printing process.

She said her commission’s overtures did not yield their intended objectives as some stakeholders insisted on “outrageous, unlawful and unreasonable demands thereby scuttling a good process to consensus building”.

Chamisa has threatened unspecified action if his demands were not met.

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