The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has issued a tepid rebuttal of claims it has barred MDC Alliance officials from attending its provincial interface meeting with political party representatives and other stakeholders.
The controversial electoral management authority, long accused of bias towards President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF, is mired in a fresh partisanship storm following claims that MDC some Alliance officials were barred from a provincial stakeholders meeting in Harare.
This also coincided with a leaked memo by a ZEC official TM Sunduza who is enquiring from ZEC Acting CEO Ms Chigidyi on whether MDC Alliance should be invited for stakeholders meetings.
Following the alleged barring of MDC Alliance officials, Nelson Chamisa’s party Wednesday issued a statement rebuking ZEC for attempts “to prejudice the lawful interests of the MDC Alliance by excluding us from the engagement process”.
Feeling the heat Thursday, ZEC posted a lukewarm denial of the claims on its Twitter handle.
ZEC accompanied its denials with an image of one Dalumuzi Khumalo, who was identified as an MDC Alliance official attending a provincial meeting in Lupane, Matabeleland North province.
“Contrary to press reports, ZEC has not barred any political party from stakeholder engagements.
“Mr Dalumuzi Khumalo (in white shirt) of MDC Alliance attended the Mat North meeting held in Lupane today. ZEC continues to engage its stakeholders countrywide,” ZEC said.
Contrary to press reports, ZEC has not barred any political party from stakeholder engagements.
Mr Dalumuzi Khumalo (in white shirt) of MDC Alliance attended the Mat North meeting held in Lupane today. ZEC continues to engage its stakehokders countrywide pic.twitter.com/aHa7hFENs2
— ZEC (@ZECzim) September 30, 2021
Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance poses the most realistic threat to dislodge Zanu PF from power in an election.
The beleaguered opposition continues to accuse government of attempts to throw spanners in the wake of its bid to become the next governing authority in a country that has seen four decades of Zanu PF control.
Party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said Thursday that ZEC’s actions were signs of panic by Zanu PF.
“The regime is in panic mode. They know they cannot win a free & fair election because they lack popular support. Their answer is to try & bar the people’s President & the people’s party from stakeholder meetings with @ZECzim.
“This capture of state institutions is unacceptable,” she said via her Twitter handle.