HARARE – The embattled Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau and her commissioners walked out of a political parties’ meeting that was being held at her Harare offices Tuesday morning.
The monthly dialogue platform was established to enable the two parties to discuss preparations for 2018 general elections.
But on Tuesday, a visibly angry Makarau – while waving photocopied newspapers cuttings – said she was tired of being intimidated, harassed and personally attacked by some political parties through the media.
The ZEC chairperson also appeared to have been angered by the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) political parties plans to stage a demo against the electoral body Wednesday.
“I have come to realise that these meeting are not taking us anywhere; therefore, I am calling off this meeting,” she said.
“Instead of engaging me so that we dialogue on issues, some of you are busy attacking me in the newspapers; I cannot tolerate this.”
She then walked out of the boardroom where the meeting was to be held, leaving the representatives of political parties dumbfounded.
After a heated debate, the party representatives agreed that a committee of five would go and engage Makarau in her office.
After the meetings, Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T told representatives of the parties that engagement between Makarau, ZEC and political parties would continue.
“Engagement between ZEC and political parties shall continue and communication between ZEC and political parties shall be done formally and in writing,” he said.
“Should there be any concern on any process involving ZEC, the political parties should first seek audience with ZEC and political parties are free to fairly criticise as long as this criticism is objective and factual.”
However, this was shot down by some political parties’ representatives who said they were tired of meeting ZEC on Makarau’s terms and conditions.