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MDC-T: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Says It Won't Disband

Riot police ready to pounce at a street march organized by members of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), protesting against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's failure to conduct a transparent voter registration exercise.

The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has denied allegations that it is attempting to rig the country’s crucial elections set for next year.

According to the party’s secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T received two letters from the ZEC chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, dispelling allegations that the government is hijacking the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise.

“Yesterday we received two letters from the Chairperson of ZEC, Justice Rita Makarau. In the first letter she said that ZEC was committed to dialogue with political parties. She however said calls to disband ZEC were outside her mandate.”

MDC-T is part of the Zimbabwe National Reform Agenda (NERA), which staged a protest in Harare last week calling for the disbandment of ZEC claiming that it’s failing to conduct a transparent voter registration exercise with indications that the State Procurement Board had been roped in to buy BVR kits for compiling a new voters roll instead of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Mwonzora further said, “In the second letter she (Makarau) stated that government had not taken over the procurement of the BVR kits. She stated that the supplier of the kits would be picked only from those shortlisted by UNDP. Once the supplier is chosen political parties would be allowed to inspect them.

“We reiterate that the procurement process by UNDP must not be interrupted. We want transparency. We thank all the comrades who stood up against the attempts by government to take over the BVR kits procurement process. We hail the demonstration that took place on Wednesday. It was not in vein.”
Mwonzora said NERA and other related groups would continue “taking active approaches such as demonstrations, engaging SADC, AU and UN to ensure that it is not government which will seek to procure these kits. We will continue the fight. Together we will win.”

There was no immediate reaction from ZEC.

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