As the harmonised elections draw nearer, the MDC Alliance has been the loudest in raising complaints against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
A day seldom passes without Nelson Chamisa and his opposition partners making outrageous claims against the electoral body in a manner suggesting they dread election day which is fast approaching.
The latest and of course, laughable complaint from the MDC Alliance is the design of the presidential ballot. The MDC Alliance called for a press conference on Monday addressed by Mr Chamisa’s chief election agent, Mr Jameson Timba, who claimed the presidential ballot was designed in a manner that favours the incumbent — President Mnangagwa — who is the ruling Zanu-PF’s presidential candidate.
The basis of the MDC Alliance’s complaint is the location of President Mnangagwa on the first spot on the second column of the ballot. The ballot reportedly has two columns after a whopping 23 candidates expressed interest in landing the presidency, following the opening up of democratic space by President Mnangagwa.
Never before in the history of the nation had 23 candidates vied for the presidency and this, while showing the maturity of our democracy under the new administration shepherded by President Mnangagwa, might obviously have created design challenges for ZEC when it came to creating the presidential ballot.
What is the MDC Alliance saying about its supporters who we are told are mainly youths from universities and colleges yearning for “generational change” presumably domiciled in Mr Chamisa? Are they saying all of a sudden their supporters have turned illiterate?
Have they all turned blind on the brink of an election to fail to locate and plant an X on their preferred candidate even where he is pictured? Is it so in a nation whose literacy is second to none on the African continent? Obviously, the silence by Zanu-PF supporters over the design of the presidential ballot paper is confirmation that they know their preferred candidate and even when waking from deep slumber will plant their X appropriately.
Anyway, why is it that Mr Chamisa and his partners are the only complainants in a race pitting other 22 presidential hopefuls? Day in, day out, the MDC Alliance aims its arrow at ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, who in any case has been altruistic by even going a step further to do what others in the same seat would not dream do.
Apart from the ballot design saga, the MDC Alliance has cried foul over alleged failure by the opposition to observe the printing of the ballots with Mr Timba mourning over how far away from the printing process they were made to observe. As if that was not enough, they further alleged that over 400 people on the biometric voters’ register shared the same address in Chitungwiza without an iota of evidence. The whole of last month when everyone easily accessed the voters’ roll, they alone claimed they were being denied the roll.
In fact, they want ZEC disbanded! They claim it is biased in favour of Zanu-PF and its presidential candidate President Mnangagwa.
It is time the MDC Alliance, which boasts so many lawyers, reads Section 239 of the Constitution written in a layman’s language for easy of understanding. It outlines the functions of ZEC, which among other things include designing, printing and distributing ballots, approving the form of and procurement of ballot boxes and establishment and operation of polling centres.
Further, the Constitution exhorts ZEC to take such action in regard to the complaints from the public “it considers appropriate”. To a rational mind, complaints by the MDC Alliance do not pass the “appropriate” test prescribed by the Constitution and exposes inherent fear of losing the election especially by Mr Chamisa — as that would mark his political demise especially considering the power dynamics within the MDC-T following the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in February this year.