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MDC calls for more reforms
for Democratic Change
The MDC is ready
for the next elections that will deliver real change to the people
of Zimbabwe, MDC Secretary General, Hon. Tendai Biti has said. He
described this year's elections as watershed comparing them
with those held in 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence.
However, he said the
MDC will continue calling for major reforms before elections are
held in order to ensure that there is no repeat of the kind of violence
that took place in the country in 2008 when Zanu PF was defeated
at the polls by the MDC.
position as outlined in the Conditions
for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe (CoSEZ) launched by the
party last year is that there should be security of the vote, security
of the voter, a guarantee for the security of the people's
will, implementing the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) in full and all other agreed positions
including the implementation of regional and international standards
on democratic elections.
"We are very clear
on these four issues. We can have elections tomorrow but if there
are no reforms it will be one step forward and 20 steps backwards
and we will have a similar situation like we had in 2008,"
said Hon. Biti.
He said the new Constitution
expected to sail through when the referendum is held, will speak
on a number of issues that can affect the holding of free, fair
and violence free elections in Zimbabwe.
"In the past it
was difficult to register to vote as people were asked to get letters
from the headmen or landlords but the new Act has liberalised that.
The new Constitution further calls for the announcement of the election
results within 48 hrs and the results will be posted outside the
polling stations while all candidates will get soft copies of the
results," said Hon. Biti.
He said the MDC is insisting
on an electronic registration system.
Turning to the staffing
at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Hon. Biti said the issue
of opaque staffing at the electoral commission remained one of the
"We are not victimising
the ZEC staff but the new ZEC board should be allowed to recruit
staff and grade them and retain employees they see as gems for the
organisation," he said. The Secretary General said as a labour
backed party, the MDC is not insisting that ZEC workers be dismissed
but that there be transparency in everything taking place at ZEC.
He said the MDC was concerned
by the increase of political intimidation, violence and arrests
taking place across the country. "That is why we are saying
that JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) must
be empowered at province, district and ward levels. This will help
in mitigating violence," said Hon. Biti.
He said Zimbabwe needed
AU, SADC and international observers during the referendum and the
elections and that the coming elections should be held under the
2004 SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections
and that the MDC expected non-governmental organisations and the
media to do their work without being harassed.
of power in the next elections will be respected. We are tired of
always being on the agenda of SADC and as the MDC we are JUICED
UP for the elections.
Meanwhile, Hon. Biti
said as the Finance Minister he had received instructions from the
principals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe to
source funds from the international community for the coming elections
as the government could not fund the process.
Hon. Biti said elections
will most probably be held in July before the United Nations World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference in August, though the dates
will be announced by the principals.
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