Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Secretary George Charamba responded to United States Senator Chris Coons who recently told CGTN Africa that President Mnangagwa’s Government had not taken steps to ensure free and fair elections.
Charamba said contrary to Senator Coons’ comments, Mnangagwa had taken steps to ensure peaceful elections and invited election observers. He said there was nothing Mnangagwa could do about the bias State media has towards Zanu-PF. Said Charamba:
First, Government has guaranteed a peaceful poll, which is why the President has been unambiguous in his call for peace as well as taking the unexampled decision to meet with opposition parties once the Nomination Court has confirmed who is genuine and who is not. The idea is to get all parties to commit themselves to a non-violent free poll. Equally, the security structures are under strict orders to undergird peace in the country before, during and after the elections. That’s a key responsibility of Government. Second, the Government has taken a decision to invite international observers of all colour and manner to ensure the whole plebiscite unfolds in the full glare of the world. What Government cannot do and will not do, consistent with the law, is to instruct Zec on how to run the elections. Maybe what is unclear to the Senator is that Zec is a constitutional creature whose independence is provided for in the law. Whether, when and how it releases the voters’ roll and in what format, is for it to determine without undue influence from any player national or international, inside Government or outside Government. How it deploys resources availed to it to arrive at a decision on who will provide voting material, including voting paper, ink and all the attendant paraphernalia, is its prerogative.