MDC-T whines again

The Manica Post - - News In Pictures/opinion - Daphine Zulu Post Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Shon a adage, shiri ine muririre wayo haiuregeri best de­scribes the MDC-T when it comes to elec­tions, as the party seizes any op­por­tu­nity to grum­ble over the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing an elec­tion to rig­ging or any imag­i­nary un­fair play.

As usual, MDC- T is up in arms with the Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (ZEC) after it an­nounced that of the 9 600 voter reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres be­ing set up in the coun­try, 1 100 had been ear­marked for Harare (700) and Bulawayo (400).

MDC-T’s para­noia stinks to high heav­ens bear­ing in mind that they never took any ef­fort to un­der­stand ZEC’s cri­te­rion in com­ing up with th­ese al­lo­ca­tions, since the elec­toral board cer­tainly goes through some in­ten­sive re­search to come up with the best suit­able work­able de­ci­sion. It is folly to ad­mit MDC-T’s ar­gu­ment which is merely ce­mented on a pro­fessed idea that ru­ral ar­eas are Zanu PF strongholds, ne­glect­ing all other fac­tors which had to be con­sid­ered be­fore set­tling for th­ese cen­tres.

The reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres were based on sci­en­tific re­search which in­cluded pop­u­la­tion den­sity, set­tle­ment pat­terns, ex­pan­sive­ness of prov­inces and dis­tricts ac­cord­ing to ZimS­tat 2012 cen­sus pro­jec­tions.

As such, due to as­pects such as dis­tance and prox­im­ity to the next sta­tion in re­la­tion to where one stays, ZEC saw it pru­dent to in­crease cen­tres in ru­ral ar­eas as one ended up hav­ing to travel for more than 15km on foot to the near­est reg­is­tra­tion cen­tre, a sit­u­a­tion which is not ap­pli­ca­ble to ur­ban dwellers.

In an ef­fort to avoid such and en­cour­age vot­ing, ZEC in­creased the reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres in ru­ral ar­eas.

Con­trary to this, ur­ban reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by trans­port and the pop­u­la­tion den­sity of peo­ple per square me­tre as com­pared to their ru­ral coun­ter­parts, hence the rea­son why ZEC re­solved that 1 500 peo­ple be reg­is­tered per cen­tre.

Com­ment­ing on the an­nounce­ment, the MDC-T Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber, Murisi Zwiz­wai said that his party was shocked that the two metropoli­tan prov­inces had fewer cen­tres, yet had high pop­u­la­tion den­si­ties.

“We don’t un­der­stand the ra­tio­nale why reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres in Harare are not equal to the num­ber of polling sta­tions in the province like what hap­pened to other prov­inces,” he claimed.

Vot­ers in ur­ban ar­eas will not by any chance be dis­en­fran­chised through the reg­is­tra­tion process since the BVR reg­is­tra­tion process will be con­ducted in 72 days, a rea­son­able pe­riod for any­one in­tend­ing to vote to reg­is­ter, after hav­ing con­ducted a 70-day pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign for the voter reg­is­tra­tion prior to the reg­is­tra­tion process. In the spirit of in­clu­sive­ness, ZEC re­sponded that the elec­tion board wel­comed any ob­jec- tions, as long as the con­cerns were based on facts, ob­jec­tive and sci­en­tific rea­son­ing, see­ing that they had con­ducted their own re­search be­fore set­tling for th­ese reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres. The op­po­si­tion party seems to be on a fault find­ing mis­sion, in an ef­fort to dis­credit the elec­toral process, be­fore they even run for the elec­tions.

Ini­tially they made noise on ZEC’s al­leged re­luc­tance to start on the Bio­met­ric Vot­ers Reg­is­tra­tion (BVR) process. When it com­menced, the op­po­si­tion had reser­va­tions on the Zim­bab­wean Gov­ern­ment pur­chas­ing the kits in­stead of UNDP. Again they had is­sues with the award­ing of ten­der to the Lax­ton Group of Com­pa­nies to sup­ply the BVR kits’ claim­ing they had links with Gov­ern­ment for a mere fact that they are Chi­nese and the two coun­tries have ami­able re­la­tions.

They later moved a mo­tion to ob­ject re­quire­ment for one to pro­duce proof of res­i­dence in or­der to vote and now they are hav­ing is­sues with the num­ber of reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres. Clearly, this is just but one of MDC-T’s shrewd­ness in try­ing to garner sym­pa­thiz­ers in the event of los­ing in the up­com­ing elec­tions, a sit­u­a­tion which seems highly in­evitable bear­ing in mind the Afro barom­e­ter sur­vey which has just con­firmed Zanu PF’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date as the one with the high­est po­ten­tial and pop­u­lar.

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