Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to speedily implement electoral reforms in order to avert another disputed election next year. Chamisa made the demands in the capital Harare when he launched his party’s electoral reforms blueprint document which sets out seven milestones for electoral reform
According to Zimbabwe’s main opposition political party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, the ideal conditions for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe do not exist and they are demanding urgent action.
“We have learnt that from 2018 when we had the election observer mission reports and other critical election bodies sharing their perspectives on our election, we have been unfortunate that insufficient work has been done. There hasn’t been any appetite to reform and correct all the boxes. The reports were clear and they had recommendations on what needed to be done to move our country forward but if you look at it not a single thing has been done,” says Chamisa.
Chamisa is now calling for external supervision of the next election.
“Zanu PF must be the last ones to complain about the UN running or supervising the elections in this country because in 1980 we asked them to do it on our behalf and the United Nations did a perfect job so it’s not something new, it’s not something bizarre,” Chamisa explains.
But the ruling ZANU PF party has already made its position clear with regards to external involvement in the electoral processes
“I saw the last time when there was an electoral litigation, some parties wanted to import lawyers from outside Zimbabwe and I refused and I said we have very brilliant lawyers and I was vindicated. What I witnessed in court was amazing so we will continue. I am very happy that the law society is now training our lawyers in constitutional and electoral litigation because we will not allow foreigners to come and do that in our courts,” says Zimbabwe’s Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
With elections just nine months away, it is highly unlikely that there will be any substantial reforms undertaken ahead of the 2023 polls.
The Zimbabwean electorate is now trapped between a rock and a hard place. Either they participate under the current conditions or boycott the poll altogether.