HARARE – Zimbabwe’s main opposition on Tuesday marched to the independent election agency demanding reforms it said were vital for a credible vote and accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of using soldiers to campaign for the ruling party in rural areas.
Zimbabweans will be choosing a new president and members of parliament on July 30 in the first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a de facto army coup.
Nelson Chamisa leader of opposition party the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) will be facing off against Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa however has seeked for international observers to oversee the election and help cast doubt over voting irregularities allegations that may surface.
The European Union has agreed to send their observers to Zimbabwe, this will be the first time in 16 years.
Chamisa leading thousands of MDC supporters to hand in their list of demands for a free and fair election to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) offices in downtown Harare, Chamisa said to supporters the ZEC must make the name of the printing company responsible for the ballot papers public knowledge.
Other demands included an independent audit of the new voter register and ensure equal coverage by public media,
The rural population has been brutalised and intimidated for many years.
ZEC must conduct a visible and effective campaign to educate and reassure voters.
The election cannot be free and fair if voters quietly fear a certain outcome could lead to violence and retribution.
— Nelson Chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) June 5, 2018
Chamisa further accused the president of deploying soldiers in civilian clothes in the rural parts of the country to campaign for the Zanu-pf, he said, “We are saying please stop causing our soldiers to be in the villages, stop causing our soldiers to be meddling in the civilian affairs of our politics,”
“This is an election, why are you deploying soldiers against a political party? We are just contesting an election. Mr Mnangagwa be a revolutionary … be a patriot, have a free and fair election.”
Photo Credit- AFP