Home » Governance » Opposition Says Electoral Reforms Impasse Yielding One Party State

ZANU PF’s lack of will in implementing electoral reforms is creating a one party state where the ruling party is both the contestant and adjudicator in elections, opposition parties have said.

The mainstream opposition parties boycotted the June 10 by-elections which were won resoundingly by Zanu PF.

But MDC Director of Elections, Ellen Shiriyedenga, said last week’s by-elections had further reinforced her party’s assertion that any polls without implementation of agreed constitutional reforms are a farce, and create a one party-state where Zanu PF held sway.

“Participation in these flawed elections propagates the longevity and consolidation of Mugabe and Zanu PF dictatorship.

“The MDC however salutes the bravery of the majority of Zimbabweans who expressed disgust over the crooked electoral system by shying away from the ballot.

“In the same vein, we applaud some voters who saw it fit to express their displeasure by voting against Zanu PF in spite of their reservations about the electoral system,” said Shiriyedenga in a statement.

The Welshman Ncube-led party accused both Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of dragging their feet in implementing electoral reforms.

“The MDC has proved beyond doubt that there is no political will on the part of the Zanu PF government and ZEC to institute the electoral reforms.

“The dark cloud hovering over the voters roll quandary is at play despite Section 239 of the Constitution which provides ZEC with the mandate of voter registration, compilation and full custody of the voters roll, taking it away from the Registrar General’s office.

“Clearly, ZEC has no game plan and deliberately so, two -years after the new constitution was endorsed ZEC is still in a dilemma of whether to adopt the old Mudede voters roll or come up with a new one,” said Shiriyedenga.

She added: “The lack of political will on the part of Zanu PF and ZEC to operationalise national laws that aance a fair, transparent and credible electoral playing ground will haunt Zimbabweans until 2018 elections and beyond, as such Zimbabwe’s democratic gains will be reversed.

“Participating in by-elections not only legitimizes fraudulent Zanu PF dominance, but also provides a concrete building block for a one party state which will give Zanu PF free reign over the suffering majority at the mercy of the elite few.”

Coalition of democrats

She also called upon progressive democratic forces in Zimbabwe to fight for the implementation of electoral reforms.

Zapu secretary general Strike Mkandla echoed the same sentiments, saying a coalition of democrats offers them an opportunity to formulate a strategy to topple Zanu PF and ensure electoral reforms are implemented.

But Mkandla added that the MDCs had offered Zanu PF a golden opportunity to entrench its rule by boycotting last week’s polls.

He was addressing journalists and civil society organisations at a post-election media briefing organised by Zimbabwe Election Support Network in Bulawayo on Monday.

“If I was Zanu PF I would say this is a golden opportunity I would filibuster as much as possible until we got to 2018 because there will be no elections whenever there are by-elections I would take everything.

“My thinking would be: They (opposition) will boycott 2018 also because the implementation would not have happened,” said the Zapu official.

He added that the decision by the MDCs to boycott the mini-polls was at best “an incident” and not a political strategy.

“I would like to hear the idea of a full strategy which we can all buy into because the MDCs decided about the boycott.

“There was no effort to convince all the other registered political parties that a boycott was necessary,” he said.

Source : New Zimbabwe