Zec is independent, claims Mnangagwa

Published: 22 July 2018
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is an independent body created through parliamentary processes and does not take instructions from any political party, President Mnangagwa has said.

President Mnangagwa said if there was any political party not happy with the operations of the electoral body, it should approach the courts for redress.
Addressing multitudes of Zanu-PF supporters at the Mutare Aerodrome open space where he was drumming up support ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Zec should follow the law in its operations.

His remarks followed unsubstantiated claims by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa that Zec was working with Zanu-PF to rig the elections.

"There was a Tsvangirai party called MDC-T. Now we have MDC Alliance. MDC Alliance which is being led by Chamisa, MDC-T led by (Thokozani) Khupe," said President Mnangagwa.

"But this one called Alliance is the one complaining about Zec and the voters' roll.  Zec is a creation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Zec did not come from Zanu-PF. Zec comes from the country's Constitution. Zec is chosen and created by Parliament. In Parliament the parliamentary committee chose Zec.

Chamisa was there and he is chairperson of the committee that selected Zec which he is complaining about now. There is no law that says there is a party that should tell Zec what to do. No. No Zec is created by the Constitution of the Republic and its composition is created and composed through a parliamentary committee and in that parliamentary committee Chamisa was one of the co-chairpersons that created and composed Zec."

President Mnangagwa continued: "Zec is an independent commission. Government has no control on Zec at all. No political party at all should give instructions to Zec. We in Zanu-PF observe the rule so we will never give instructions to Zec. We expect, however, that Zec must follow the law.

"It must follow and comply with the Electoral Act which governs its functions. If there is any belief that Zec breached the Electoral Act or the Constitution, the courts are open.

"It is not possible for political parties to say Zec do this or that."

President Mnangagwa said while Mr Chamisa was busy fighting Zec, Zanu-PF should direct its efforts towards championing programmes that improve the lives of the people.

He said out of the 23 Presidential candidates, it was only Mr Chamisa who was complaining about the positioning of President Mnangagwa's name on the ballot paper, which is on number 15.

"Out of the 23 Presidential candidates, Zec says it will use the alphabetical order using the surnames that we were given by our fathers," said President Mnangagwa.

"My name is Mnangagwa so it is on number 15 and his name is Chamisa and is at the top but he is having sleepless nights over my name which is on the bottom.

"So this issue of where a name is on the ballot paper is his personal problem. We are concerned about 30 July where we will go and vote in numbers, while they are demonstrating about where a name should be on the ballot paper. While they are doing this we are talking to the people explaining programmes taking place in the country, economic programmes, social programmes to grow our economy, for making better the lives of our people in education, in health, in infrastructure development, in agriculture, in tourism.

"These are the issues we must address to grow our country, to modernise our country, to mechanise our country to bring our biotechnologies, skills and foreign direct investment and to attract global investment to Zimbabwe."

President Mnangagwa explained that for almost 20 years Zimbabwe was in isolation due to economic sanctions but the country had embarked on a re-engagement drive to reposition itself in the community of nations.

He said the country was receiving positive signals from the outside world which saw it securing more than US$16 billion in investment commitments in six months.

"For close to 20 years, Zimbabwe was in isolation because sanctions were imposed on this country," said President Mnangagwa.

"Why were sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe? Commonwealth in 2000 said we should not proceed with our land reform programme. As Zanu-PF we sat down in Masvingo to say we must choose whether we must go ahead with the land reform which was the major grievance of our liberation struggle or we obey the Commonwealth and we abandon the land reform.

"We chose to go ahead with our land reform and sanctions were imposed on us. The issue of sanctions and land reform are now behind us, we now have our country."

The rally was also attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu-PF national chair Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and several Politburo members.
- chronicle
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