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Nelson Chamisa's MDC-T Says Party Primary Elections Free, Fair And Credible

MDC-T supporters chanting party slogans.
MDC-T supporters chanting party slogans.

The Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa says the party’s primary elections were conducted in a democratic way by an independent commission.

Party chairperson Mogen Komichi told journalists in Harare on Tuesday that “we concluded the consensus building process, and we attended to the consensus appeals. We then moved to the next level which was the holding of primary elections. We are pleased that our elections where conducted by an independent commission in a very democratic way. We are pleased as a party.

“We are currently dealing with all the primary elections appeals. The Appeals Tribunal is ceased with these matters. However, the party is investigating allegations of violence and those who are found wanting will be penalized. Eighty percent of the constituencies have been covered and we will be done with all the gap constituencies by this Saturday.”

Komichi said his party now has a list of parliamentary candidates expected to represent the MDC Alliance in the forthcoming general elections.

However, some members of the party claim that the elections were rigged in favor of certain candidates favored by the status quo.

Some disgruntled members have threatened to vote for opponents in the general polls if primaries are not re-run in several constituencies.

Several party stalwarts, including Gift Chimanikire, James Maridadi, Sesel Zvidzai, Jameson Timba and others bit the dust in the primaries.

Komichi also noted that the some parties affiliated to the MDC Alliance are busy selecting candidates for the council, parliamentary and senatorial elections.

“Our Alliance partners are fielding their candidates and we are working closely together to field the best candidate for the area. Negotiations are taking place among our Alliance Partners in areas where, for instance, our candidate is weak and an alliance candidate is strong, so that a stronger candidate will stand in such constituencies. In this process, we have also respected the women and youth quota.”

He further said there were anomalies in the registration of many Zimbabweans in the new voters’ roll as some names are either missing or placed in wrong polling stations.

“Today marks the last day of the voters’ roll inspection. The anomalies have been glaring and telling. These anomalies justify our defeaning calls for an independent audit of the Biometric Voters’ Roll.
“Reported incidences of details sent on cellphones from ZEC not corresponding with the physical roll are worrisome. Some names are entered correctly, but the gender is incorrect. Others have received messages confirming their registration centres but upon physical inspection, realised they had been posted to a different polling station, or their names were missing completely from the roll.”

He said the party received reports that some people are re-registering in different wards and constituencies, a situation that may lead to massive rigging.

ZEC officials were not available for comment.

“A case in point is the registration of residents of ward 45 in Harare East onto the ward 25 of Goromonzi South voters’ roll … If ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) cannot produce a clean voters’ roll, then it casts an aspersion on the credibility of this upcoming election. Little wonder why there was little information and voter education on inspecting the voter’s roll, and the refusal by ZEC to give us a copy of the provisional voters’ roll.

“We demand a searchable copy of this voters’ roll so that we are able to assist ZEC in identifying all the duplicates and fictitious names in the current roll.”