By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance says it is going ahead with its peaceful demonstration on Tuesday and will present a petition at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office as well as at the office of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
However, the insistence on marching to Mnangagwa’s office appears to be in defiance of Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu who, last week, warned the opposition to keep away from the president’s office.
But the MDC-T national organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, told journalists during a press conference on Monday that the opposition had no intention of fighting the police but was interested in transparency and fairness in the upcoming elections slated for July 30.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are going ahead with our peaceful demonstration. It is a free and fair election peace march. We will meet at Africa Unity Square and present our petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
“We will present our comprehensive petition that speaks to the fundamental reforms that need to be implemented before the 2018 harmonised elections. From there, we will proceed to Munhumutapa offices where we will present the same petition to the Mnangagwa administration. MDC Alliance leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa will address people in Africa Unity Square after the march.
“This is a crucial time; we must be vigilant as we demand a peaceful environment for a credible election in Zimbabwe. The ballot paper printing remains a critical issue to the democracy of this country. As long as the printing of the ballot paper remains shrouded in secrecy, then there cannot be an election.
According to reports United States Senator, Chris Coons, who has been pushing for the lifting up of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the American government, recently accused President Mnangagwa of failing to implement electoral reforms just a month away from the elections.
“Mnangagwa had failed to back up his talk with action thus, creating an unequal ground for his rivals in this year’s polls. The conditions in Zimbabwe did not meet Sadc standards for free and fair elections,” Coons was quoted as saying.
On Monday, the MDC-T organising secretary said Zanu PF should concentrate on their programmes and back off from the opposition’s activities.
“Zanu PF should do its own demo and stop interfering with our plans. We will not fight the police. We have already informed the law enforcement agent. When Emmerson Mnangagwa talks about free, fair and credible elections, he is a liar because has done nothing to prove that the election will be transparent. What is his fear?” Chibaya said.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has withdrawn its publicized counter solidarity demonstration which was supposed to take place in Harare this Tuesday alleging that there was miscommunication about the march.
In a statement on Monday the youth secretary for administration Kudakwashe Masamvi urged his members to wait for an official communication from the top leadership.
“This letter serves to inform that there is no such a program called solidarity march on Tuesday. This information is circulated by non-party members without approval from the rightful authorities,” read part of Masamvi’s letter.