The secessionist opposition party, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), has called for the scrapping of harmonised elections saying they make it easy for ZANU PF to rig.
Zimbabwe introduced harmonised elections in 2008, which saw voters electing councillors, members of parliament and a president at the same time.
Before that, the country used to hold legislative and presidential elections separately, for instance in the year 2000, people voted in parliamentary elections while the presidential vote was done in 2002.
Speaking in an interview with CITE after addressing an e-rally on Sunday, MRP leader, Mqondisi Moyo, said:
Our objection to harmonised elections is premised on the argument that every time when it’s election time, ZANU PF easily rigs due to the fact that many people put their focus on the presidential election and fail to realise that local and parliamentary elections matter most more than the presidential election.
Moyo argued that proper governance started locally in local centres of power and this was where the electorate had to put their focus.
He said the Zimbabwean electorate errs in always thinking that in order for them to be heard they have to vote for ZANU PF or MDC, from councillors, MPs and the president. Said Moyo:
This leads to them failing to vote for capable local representatives due to lots of focus placed on who would be the next president.
… We learnt from history that especially after the 2000 elections, Zanu-PF performs dismally when people vote for MPs and councillors yet emerge winners under the presidential election.
This is a clear sign that no one can vote for an opposition councillor and MP yet for the presidential vote, choose ZANU PF. Harmonisation was brought as a way of promoting rigging.
The MRP leader added that his party would canvass to separate harmonised elections, just like before.
Zimbabwe holds its next harmonised elections in 2023, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa expected to face MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the presidential race for a second time following their tussle in 2018.