By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC-T deputy president Obert Gutu says Zimbabwe’s opposition was headed for yet another crushing electoral defeat to a Zanu PF that has maintained an octopus grip on the country’s poll management systems.
He was speaking at a panel discussion at SAPES Trust on the voters roll and the status of key legislation ahead of the July 30 polls.
The discussion was organised by the Information for Development Trust (IDT), an NGO formed to track public sector corruption.
In his comments, Gutu said the current set-up of the country’s electoral systems, coupled with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) continued refusal to open up its operations to public scrutiny, spelt disaster for Zanu PF opponents.
He singled out ZEC’s refusal to allow the opposition to test the quality of printed ballot paper.
ZEC insists the crucial balloting material was a security issue.
But Gutu, who is deputy to Thokozani Khupe’s breakaway MDC-T party, said this should be enough signal next month’s election will be another sad moment for the opposition.
“We are about 5 weeks or less before elections are held…and here we are, like lambs to the slaughter; going to July 30 to participate in an election which I can safely say its result is predetermined. I can put my head on the block and say that is.”
The former Justice deputy minister said Zimbabwean polls were typical of African elections which are often held to satisfy constitutional requirements when incumbents would have employed all dirty tricks to slant the vote in their favour.
Gutu however ruled out a poll boycott by his party saying there was no other alternative outside taking part.
“A boycott is not an option, we are going to participate but we are also very mindful of that July 30 election is a delayed match,” he said, adding that no party should fool itself they can beat Zanu PF under the current conditions.
His comments however contradict Khupe’s continued vows she has the means to snatch a poll victory against all odds.
While Gutu has based his beliefs of an imminent opposition defeat to poll systems, opinion polls continue to give Zanu PF presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa the edge over his main challenger Nelson Chamisa of MDC Alliance.
There has often been little mention of the other 21 presidential hopefuls.