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Published On: Wed, Sep 14th, 2016

Didymus Mutasa says it’s game on on Saturday

The convener of the National Electoral Reform Agenda, Didymus Mutasa, says the demonstrations planned for Saturday are going on as planned despite the police ban.

“Our message to the people of Zimbabwe is that they must come out in large numbers in the various towns and districts across the country to express in a loud way the national demand for a truly credible election in 2018,” Mutasa said in a statement.

“This ban is illegal and will not in any way stand in the way of what is permissible under the new Constitution written and endorsed by the people themselves.”

Mutasa said the 2018 elections had effectively already been rigged because of violent clampdown on political parties and ordinary Zimbabweans under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA).

“It is trite for anyone to expect a credible election in 2018 when genuine and constitutional demands for electoral reform are met with police brutality and weekly bans of protests that are allowed by the constitution. In other words, the brutality itself is tantamount to a rigging of the next election well in advance.” he said.

Mutasa, who now belongs to the Zimbabwe People First, was the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front secretary for administration, the fifth highest ranking person in the party, at the time of the 2013 elections which the Movement for Democratic Change and the ZimPF claim were rigged.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Government rigs 2018 election

The government-sponsored brutality and yet another ban announced on Monday against constitutional attempts to push for far-reaching electoral reforms represent a de-facto state of emergency and a willingness by this regime to rig the next election.

If anything, the government’s violent clampdown on political parties and ordinary Zimbabweans under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) shows a poisoned national environment and points to the fact that the 2018 elections have already been rigged. It is trite for anyone to expect a credible election in 2018 when genuine and constitutional demands for electoral reform are met with police brutality and weekly bans of protests that are allowed by the constitution. In other words, the brutality itself is tantamount to a rigging of the next election well in advance.

As NERA, we remain resolute that we will continue with the constitutional protests for far-reaching electoral reforms. As such, the nationwide demonstrations slated for Saturday, September, will continue as planned despite the illegal police bans. Our message to the people of Zimbabwe is that they must come out in large numbers in the various towns and districts across the country to express in a loud way the national demand for a truly credible election in 2018. This ban is illegal and will not in any way stand in the way of what is permissible under the new Constitution written and endorsed by the people themselves.

It is ironic that the police are behaving with the same brutality as the British South Africa Police, the colonial outfit that repressed and oppressed the people of this country for many years. This has become worse than Rhodesia and the simple crime of the people of this country is that they have dared to express themselves.

This needless heavy-handedness is coming for the simple reason that we are demanding a free and fair election and any government that believes in free elections would not bludgeon and batter people for making that legitimate demand.

As we have stated before, we are where we are as a nation because of a disputed election that bred an illegitimate outcome. We will not relent in our quest to demand a credible election and that is why Saturday’s action is continuing as planned.

It’s game on on Saturday.

Didymus Mutasa
NERA Convener