HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not sincere in his call for a free, fair and credible election as the situation on the ground points to a different direction, MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube has said.
The broader alliance of seven political parties dubbed MDC Alliance formed by the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year to take on Zanu PF has endorsed Nelson Chamisa, 40, as its presidential candidate.
Yesterday, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said “about 60 percent of our people who registered to vote are aged between 18 and 40.”
“It means this is a vote of young people,” Justice Chigumba said.
Ncube told the Daily News yesterday “we believe we can win the elections” but said “there isn’t any evidence on the ground to suggest sincerity” to level the playing field by the ruling administration.
“Sincerity will involve taking actions on electoral reforms. For instance if he were sincere he would say today to Zanu PF to stop it, to stop going around demanding voter slips.
“If he was sincere he will tell (army commander) Valerio Sibanda that this time we recognise sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe. ‘You Sibanda you are the commander of the army, tell people that the previous statements by (former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commanders Constantino) Chiwenga and (Vitalis) Zvinavashe, we no longer believe that, the people have a right to select their leaders;,” Ncube said.
Zimbabwe’s former military chiefs, the late Zvinavashe and Chiwenga, now vice president, have previously declared they will only back leaders who fought in the country’s wars of liberation.
Generals in Zimbabwe’s military are veterans of the 1970s independence war, and they publicly support Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF.
Ncube said Mnangagwa as the president had a duty to assure the nation that certainly the electoral play-field will be level.
“If he was to say all these things they cost no cent. If he was sincere he would say ‘you and you stop all of these anti-free elections actions’. He would say stop sending helicopters to hover over our rallies as happened in Mutare recently as a way of intimidating people.
“I have no reason to believe any sincerity as long as he has condemned these things. It is within his power to stop them tomorrow.”
He said the electoral play field was skewed in favour of Zanu PF.
Ncube said they will ratchet up their campaigns to convince Zimbabweans to vote for change.
“We are going to campaign in the usual democratic way to sell ourselves. And that’s the only test of sincerity, not rhetorical systems,” he said.
The respected lawyer said it was through more opposition parties coming together that they will enhance their chances of winning the next elections.
“As MDC Alliance, our chances will be enhanced if we have more of other significant parties with verifiable support base but even if that doesn’t happen, we are convinced that with sufficient momentum and grasp of issues, with sufficient roots in the society for us to be able to win the elections,” he said.