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comments on Nathan Shamuyarira's remarks on Electoral Reforms at
Coltart, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
August 04, 2004
The MDC notes
with interest the ostensibly conciliatory remarks made by ZANU PF's
Secretary for Information and Publicity Nathan Shamuyarira at the
Victoria Falls conference calling upon the MDC to enter into dialogue
regarding electoral reforms.
Community should not be beguiled by these remarks because they are
typical of ZANU PF duplicity. ZANU PF talks with a forked tongue.
In one breath they talk reconciliation and democratic electoral
reforms and yet at the same time they are busy pushing through parliament
new draconian legislations such as the NGO Bill and out in the field
they are busy torturing outstanding MDC members of parliament and
In the light
of this pattern of duplicity, we remain unimpressed by the proposed
cosmetic reforms to the electoral process. Until we hear from ZANU
PF on when they are prepared to repeal draconian legislation, open
up the air waves, give us access to voters roll, allocate the compilation
of the voters roll to a new and independent body, disband youth
militia, and generally restore the rule of law and a democratic
environment, we will remain of the belief that ZANU PF is not genuine
about electoral reforms. As the things stand, it is obvious that
ZANU PF has cynically chosen aspects of our demands for electoral
reforms, which if taken in the overall oppressive environment prevailing
in Zimbabwe today, will compliment other measures designed by ZANU
PF to intimidate the electorate into voting for them. For Example,
whilst we have demanded that counting of votes be done at polling
stations, if votes counting is done in the context of an oppressive
environment, it will make communities even more fearful than before
in voting for ZANU PF.
It is for these
reasons that we reiterate that the conditions set out in our Restore
document as absolute minimum conditions be fulfilled, and unless
all these conditions are met, a democratic electoral environment
will not be established.
If ZANU PF is
prepared to totally revamp our electoral system to bring it into
fully compliance with SADC and International standards, then it
can expect to receive total co-operation from the MDC. However if
it is determined to merely tinker with aspects of the electoral
process, (which in some respects may even make for an even more
intimidatory environment,) then it must not expect to receive co-operation
from the MDC.
For our part
we will continue to work with our friends in the civil society and
our friends in the regional governments to ensure that Zimbabwe's
electoral process becomes truly democratic irrespective of what
ZANU PF's intentions are.
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