Tendai Mugabe in MUTARE
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)is an independent body created through parliamentary processes and does not take instructions from any political party, President Mnangagwa has said. He said if there was any political party that was not happy with the operations of the electoral body, it should approach the courts for redress.
Addressing multitudes of Zanu-PF supporters at the Mutare Aerodrome open space where he was drumming up support ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections yesterday, President Mnangagwa said ZEC should follow the law in its operations.
His remarks followed unsubstantiated claims by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa that ZEC was working with Zanu-PF to rig the elections.
“Pane party yainzi MDC-T yaTsvangirai. Iko zvino kune MDC-Alliance. MDC-Alliance inotungamirwa naChamisa, MDC-T inotungamirwa na (Thokozani) Khupe,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Asi iyi yeAlliance ndiyo iri kungopopota hanzi ZEC yadii, voters’ roll yaita sei, aihwa. ZEC is a creation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. ZEC haina kuzvarwa neZanu-PF. ZEC inobuda muConstitution yenyika. ZEC inosarudzwa neParliament.
“KuParliament ikoko the parliamentary committee yakasarudza ZEC. Chamisa ange aripowo chairperson wecommittee iyoyo kusarudza ZEC yaakutukana nayo nhasi. Hapana murairo unoti iwo kune musangano unofanira kuti ZEC famba wakadai, famba wakadai. Kwete. ZEC is created by the Constitution of the Republic and its composition is created and composed through a parliamentary committee and in that parliamentary committee Chamisa was one of the co-chairpersons of that created and composed ZEC.”
President Mnangagwa continued: “ZEC is an independent commission. Government has no control on ZEC at all. No political party at all should give instructions to ZEC. We in Zanu-PF observe the rule so we will never give instructions to ZEC. We expect however, that ZEC must follow the law.
“It must follow and comply with the Electoral Act which governs its functions. If there is any belief that ZEC breached the Electoral Act or the Constitution, the courts are open. It is not possible for political parties to say ZEC do this or that.”
The Constitution of Zimbabwe under Section 239 empowers ZEC to run elections and with regards to ballot papers, the commission has the sole right to design, print and distribute the material.
The charter also empowers ZEC to approve the form of and procure ballot boxes and establish and operate polling centres.
President Mnangagwa said while Mr Chamisa was busy fighting ZEC, Zanu-PF should direct its efforts towards championing programmes that improve the lives of the people.
He said out of the 23 Presidential candidates, it was only Mr Chamisa who was complaining about the positioning of President Mnangagwa’s name on the ballot paper, which is on number 15.
“Out of the 23 Presidential candidates, ZEC says it will use the alphabetical order using the surnames that we were given by our fathers,” said President Mnangagwa.
“My name is Mnangagwa so it is on number 15 and his name is Chamisa and is on the top but he is having sleepless nights over my name which is on the bottom.
“Saka nhamo yake yaainayo yekuti zita riri papi ndeyake. Isu tinofanira nekuva nemutoro wekuti musi wa30 July tinoti dzvamu, dzvamu kunovhota. Ivo vachiita mademonstrations avo ekuti zita riri papi, mademonstrations eballot paper, isu tiri kuuya kuvanhu tichirondedzerana maprogrammes, economic programmes, social programmes to grow our economy, for making better the lives of our people in education, in health, in infrastructure development, in agriculture, in tourism.
“These are the issues we must address to grow our country, to modernise our country, to mechanise our country to bring our biotechnologies, skills and foreign direct investment and to attract global investment to Zimbabwe.”
President Mnangagwa explained that for almost 20 years Zimbabwe was in isolation due to economic sanctions, but the country had embarked on a re-engagement drive to reposition itself in the community of nations.
He said the country was receiving positive signals from the outside world which saw it securing more than US$16 billion in investment commitments in six months.
“For close to 20 years, Zimbabwe was in isolation because sanctions were imposed on this country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Why were sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe? Commonwealth in 2000 said we should not proceed with our land reform programme. As Zanu-PF we sat down in Masvingo to say we must choose whether we must go ahead with the land reform which was the major grievance of our liberation struggle or we obey the Commonwealth and we abandon the land reform.
“We chose to go ahead with our land reform and sanctions were imposed on us. The issue of sanctions and land reform are now behind us, we now have our country.”
The rally was also attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu-PF national chair Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and several Politburo members.