‘ZEC not re­quired to vet po­lit­i­cal par­ties’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tendai Mu­gabe Harare Bureau

PO­LIT­I­CAL par­ties in Zim­babwe are not re­quired to reg­is­ter and it is not the duty of the Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (ZEC) to vet bo­gus and gen­uine par­ties, the com­mis­sion’s chair­per­son Jus­tice Rita Maka­rau has said.

She said it was not the brief of the com­mis­sion to re­ject po­lit­i­cal par­ties want­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the coun­try’s elec­toral pro­cesses.

Her re­marks fol­lowed a meet­ing con­vened by the com­mis­sion in Harare yes­ter­day with all the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Af­ter the meet­ing, po­lit­i­cal par­ties meet­ing un­der the ban­ner of the Na­tional Elec­toral Re­forms Agenda (NERA) cried foul claim­ing that some of the par­ties at the meet­ing were bo­gus.

This was af­ter some is­sues were sub­jected to a vot­ing process dur­ing the meet­ing and NERA af­fil­i­ates were out­smarted on all is­sues by other par­ties.

NERA mem­bers later called for a press con­fer­ence where they claimed that some of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties were in fact mem­bers of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion planted by ZEC to counter them.

Asked to com­ment on the al­le­ga­tions by NERA, Jus­tice Maka­rau said: “There is no way we can know as ZEC that this is a bo­gus po­lit­i­cal party or not, be­cause there is no reg­is­tra­tion of po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Zim­babwe.

“If they (NERA) know them, they should go to those peo­ple and tell them that they are bo­gus.”

Some of the par­ties that NERA took is­sue with in­clude the Zim­babwe Or­gan­ised Open Po­lit­i­cal Party and Zim­babwe Na­tional Congress.

Mr Joseph Ngarivhume of Trans­form Zim­babwe claimed that the meet­ing was also at­tended by a po­lit­i­cal party called OK Mart and an­other one called Vanhu al­though these were not ap­pear­ing on the list of par­ties seen by our Harare Bureau.

How­ever, there was a party which used the name MAAT among other par­ties like Good Peo­ple’s Move­ment and Zim­babwe Peo­ple’s Party.

Jus­tice Maka­rau de­scribed the meet­ing as a fruit­ful en­gage­ment.

She said it was agreed that the elec­toral body should con­vene such meet­ings monthly.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists af­ter the meet­ing, NERA mem­ber Ms Mar­cel­lina Chikasha of the African Demo­cratic Party raised a raft of com­plaints against ZEC in­clud­ing se­cu­rity checks.

She also com­plained about the short time for the in­vi­ta­tion of the meet­ing and that ZEC was not en­gag­ing them sin­cerely.

Ms Chikasha also said they had an is­sue with ZEC chair­ing the meet­ing.

She added: “We also no­ticed that there were lot of par­ties in that meet­ing that we have never heard about be­fore, and we be­lieve these were planted CIO op­er­a­tives mas­querad­ing as po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Be­cause of the sys­tem that was be­ing used by the chair of putting ev­ery­thing to vote, we found that we were out­num­bered and out-voted.”

Asked if they had any ev­i­dence to prove that some of the par­ties were bo­gus, ZimPF el­der Mr Didy­mus Mu­tasa said:

“Have you writ­ten any­thing about these po­lit­i­cal par­ties? To us, they do not ex­ist and you are ar­gu­ing as if you know that they are bo­gus.”

Mr Ngarivhume chipped in say­ing these po­lit­i­cal par­ties (NERA) were against other op­po­si­tion par­ties, thus they la­belled them bo­gus.

Jus­tice Maka­rau said, “It was a good meet­ing and we agreed to meet ev­ery month. We were com­ing to a po­si­tion af­ter de­bate and noth­ing was im­posed by ZEC.”

Tak­ing their tra­di­tional con­fronta­tional route, NERA af­fil­i­ates said they would push for the so-called elec­toral re­forms through any means in­clud­ing street protests.

MDC-T sec­re­tary gen­eral Mr Dou­glas Mwon­zora said: “We are go­ing ahead with the demon­stra­tion (on Satur­day) with or with­out their bless­ing. We do not need their per­mis­sion .We have the law in our favour.”

Mr John Arnold Bre­denkamp

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