09 May

Zim: MDC leader Chamisa threatens ‘national shutdown’

Zimbabwean opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has reportedly threatened a “national shutdown” if his Movement for Democratic Change Alliance’s demands for transparency and electoral reforms in the forthcoming watershed polls are not met.

Speaking to his supporters in the  United Kingdom, Chamisa said that the MDC-T Alliance would not boycott this year’s election but would mobilise its supporters to halt the vote, the privately owned NewsDay reported.

He said his party had the capacity to block the forthcoming polls if President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government failed to implement the necessary electoral reforms.

The opposition parties in the southern African country have tabled a number of demands which included de-militarisation of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) secretariat, security of the vote and transparency in the production of ballot papers ahead of elections expected before the end of August.

“We have the people and if we make the call, the country will come to a standstill and that we can do. We are not joking about this. It is a matter of life and death.

“We will not go into an election without an agreement on what type of election we are going to have. We still have three months, but there must be political will. Mnangagwa does not have the will to deliver a free and fair election because he knows we will humiliate him,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.

This came as the southern African country’s electoral body indicated recently that it won’t go to tender over ballot printers.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said that it had already selected the company that would print ballot papers for forthcoming polls and won’t put the job out to public tender because there was not enough time, the state Sunday Mail reported.

“Government has selected a company to print ballot papers and supply indelible ink for the forthcoming harmonised elections…. due to security and time considerations,” the report said.

“The tender would normally have been announced in the Government Gazette [but]…it was felt there was not enough time to follow this process,” the paper continued.

Source: https://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/zim-mdc-leader-chamisa-threatens-national-shutdown-20180509

16 Feb

Death of Tsvangirai Threatens Unity of Zimbabwe’s Opposition

The death of Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has left his party in disarray ahead of presidential elections later this year.

Tsvangirai, who led the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, died Wednesday at the age of 65 from colon cancer.

He had been nominated to run against President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential vote expected in the first half of this year but indicated last month he was considering bowing out of the race after undergoing treatment, saying it was time to leave his party in “new hands.”

While the MDC on Thursday appointed Nelson Chamisa, 40, as acting party president for 12 months, he may face challenges from deputy leaders Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe.

On their Twitter accounts, the three men have each claimed to be the official party voice and speak for Tsvangirai, fueling media speculation that they’re locked in a power struggle.

“The fear for the opposition is that his sad passing will exacerbate the ongoing leadership battle in the party, which may cause it to split or otherwise be in disarray ahead of polling,” said Derek Matyszak, senior research consultant at the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

The party has previously splintered with senior officials Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube forming their own parties.

Chamisa, a lawyer, was widely seen as Tsvangirai’s favored successor. Khupe is MDC’s longest-serving vice president and holds an information technology degree, while Mudzuri is an engineer with a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former mayor of Harare.

Tsvangirai’s death comes only three months after the ousting of Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until the military seized control in November 2017 and forced him to resign.

Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front named Mnangagwa to succeed him. A date for the presidential election hasn’t yet been announced.

To read the full article, click here.