ZCTU to Chamisa: Boycott sham election, or shut up if you lose

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has urged the MDC Alliance to boycott the July 30 polls if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ignores demands for reforms.

MDC Alliance supporters protested against ZEC in Harare last week, demanding that it gives them access to the full Biometric Voters Roll and allows them to observe the printing, storage, and distribution of ballot papers to be used in the plebiscite.

A meeting of the ZCTU’s leadership and political committee hosted by its parliamentary advocacy department resolved that there was no point for the MDC Alliance to get into an election that they know will not be free and fair.

ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa, said if the opposition failed to heed their calls for a pull-out from the election, they should not complain of rigging if President Emmerson Mnangagwa is declared the winner.

“We must clearly express that there are irregularities in the conduct of the elections and that they can’t be free and fair. We must tell the opposition parties to pull out of the election,” he said.

“We need to engage and tell them our position and clearly explain the advantages of following us, if they don’t listen, then they should not complain immediately after Mnangagwa is announced the winner,” he added.

Transitional authority

Mutasa said they were now advocating for an all stakeholders National Transitional Authority that would prepare the country for credible elections that would bring a legitimate government, adding that a disputed election at this juncture would further plunge the country into economic and political turmoil.

Trust Africa director Briggs Bomber said Zimbabwe was now moving more and more towards “very dangerous territory”, noting there was poised to be a “vicious stalemate as ZEC had indicated that the printing of the ballot papers was a done deal”.

“If you see the masses that turned out (for the demonstration) and the message from Nelson Chamisa, we can’t fool ourselves to say that things are okay,” he said.

“We need to prepare ourselves for that and strengthen the institutions that protect the political space.”

He added; “Now it’s ZEC versus the MDC Alliance; what if it becomes MDC versus Zanu PF?

“So, we need to expand the voices that speak to this current crisis. We need to bring in labour and key stakeholders so that we have inclusive dialogue.”

The MDC Alliance has reduced its demands from the previous ten presented when they held their first protest in June.

The coalition says the two demands are achievable as they were merely administrative matters that could be dealt with in two days, with the political will.