Zanu PF party Sunday claims it did not influence the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to ‘bar’ the opposition MDC Alliance from participating in stakeholder meetings on electoral developments.
Zec last week invited other political parties to provincial meetings to discuss the legal framework, the electoral cycle, voter registration, delimitation, and the polling process in preparation for future elections.
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MDC Alliance was not invited, the commission cited a non-existent court challenge over the use of the name and also “absence of guidance from powers that be”.
The opposition party said the development was evidence that the ruling ZANU PF had captured ZEC.
However, Zanu PF director for information Tafadzwa Mugwadi Sunday rubbished the claims. Mugwadi told NewsDay:
For the entire duration of their existence, they have been chasing shadows.
They see Zanu PF everywhere. It is not by mistake because we are the popular party. We are also popular among them, and that is why if they have differences, they quickly point fingers at Zanu PF.
It is not unusual. We are used to that and they should brace themselves for a thundering defeat in 2023. As Zanu PF, we don’t believe that winning elections is on the basis of raising a cocktail and encyclopedia of complaints to Zec. That is not our approach to elections. Our approach is rooted in the people, and we are among the people. That is where our strategies exist, simple as that.
Zec chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana last week claimed no party had been barred from the stakeholders’ meetings, contradicting earlier reports by the commission’s deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe.
MDC Alliance has, over the years, blamed Zec for electoral fraud, citing the 2008 elections when the commission withheld the results for over a month.
MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa in 2019 threatened to boycott the 2023 elections if ZEC is not reformed claiming that it connived with ZANU PF in 2018 to manipulate the presidential election results in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.