Opposition National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru is aggrieved after being left out of a poll reform pact entered into by the ruling Zanu PF and the two MDCs represented in Parliament.
In an angry letter from his lawyers, Nyandoro and Hamunakwadi, Mujuru accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of bias. The letter, dated April 5 2018, is copied to Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The former Zanu PF number two will contest the upcoming elections as presidential candidate for a shadowy coalition under the banner of the People’s Rainbow Coalition in whose name the letter was written.
Mujuru says in January this year she notified ZEC of the establishment of her coalition and requested that she be notified of any stakeholder meetings from then on.
The poll management body, according the letter, not only acknowledged but undertook to add her on its database for future communication but she was shocked to hear of the agreement to amend the Electoral Act through the media.
“On the 8th of February 2018, your office, under ref C/20/157, replied to our client’s request particularly under item number 3 of its letter dated 25 January 2018 to the effect that your office acknowledged receipt of our client’s documents and noted the contents therein.
“Further, your organization stated in the supra reply that our client, PRC; had already been included on ZEC’s stakeholder data base and mailing list for notification when appropriate meetings that require our client’s input arise. The reply from your office was signed off by one C. Chigwamba (Mrs) designated as Chief Elections Officer,” said the letter.
Chigwamba has since left ZEC after a mini-shakeup. However Mujuru alleges ZEC failed to honour it’s promise.
“Regrettably, notwithstanding the undertaking by your office to advise our client when appropriate political meetings arise for their participation, events currently unfolding in the political discourse of the country seem to suggest otherwise.
“Our client has only come to learn through electronic and print media and in particular the Herald Publication of today the 5th of April 2018, that Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC have agreed on electoral changes,” Nyandoro who doubles up as Mujuru’s spokesperson said.
“In essence, the said contributions are alleged to relate to the formulation of an Electoral Code of Conduct.”
The PRC candidate says she was shocked about the latest development without her input.
“With respect, the above development has taken our client with a shocking surprise and hence our client writes to enquire with your office if indeed participation in the political discourse of our country more so in light of the forthcoming harmonized elections is only a preserve of parties represented in Parliament.
“Our client further wishes to find out if the so called electoral amendments are being done under the auspices of your office given that our client is not even aware of ever having been invited to such a key political meeting whose outcome would without doubt seek to shape the future political trajectory of our country; should the possibility of holding of free and fair elections be a reality,” added the letter.
Mujuru also wants n explanation as to whether only parties represented in Parliament are the “only political players in the country”.
“If indeed it is true that only three political actors are predominantly deciding the national question of electoral reforms, it is then our client’s view that such conduct amounts to gigantic proportion of the death of democracy in our country.
“Our client believes that your office is a creature of statute under Section 3 of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Chapter 2:12. Further, amongst your office’s chief functions under section 4(1)(a)(iii) of the said Act, your office has the peremptory obligation to ensure that elections and referendums are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law,” the former Vice President said.
ZEC was given five days to respond to the inquiry or risk unspecified action.