The Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (DARE) declares a deadlock with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with regards to their independence and impartiality. We note with disdain the attempt to trivialize opposition demands for the return to the UNDP sponsored BVR procurement arrangement. No amount of intimidation and walk-aways from the table will divert our attention to the critical issue of professionalism and trust.
DARE has been on record in dismissing ZEC as a highly compromised and uncreditworthy institution polluted with intelligentsia, unprofessional staff and today we stand vindicated on that front. ZEC did not walk away from Zanu PF interference with the BVR procurement system but tacitly complied with a Zanu PF directive. It must be beyond any doubt the government of Zimbabwe as presently constituting Zanu PF cannot be allowed to impose and chart a roadmap to 2018 elections.
18 months before the coming elections we are seized with a non-reforming Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which has only been engaging opposition political parties as a deceitful face saver to acquire international support. There have not been frank and candid consultations.
We were prepared to engage ZEC in the political parties’ dialogue platform of the proposed committees and we are aware that Zanu PF has forced Rita Makarau to abort the engagement through todays stage managed walk out. We cannot be stopped and in fact ZEC has only but exposed themselves as a Zanu Pf front.
ZEC has not even issued a warning and punitive measures against security personnel interference in electoral processes. ZEC has not instituted a framework where all political parties will have access to state media. A code of conduct of the state media on handling electoral coverage is not in place and the punitive measures on failure to give equal access to political parties. In the same wavelength, there is no punitive measures for abuse of state resources, institutions, property such as confiscated goods which can be used for vote buying and creating a skewed political terrain.
Until today ZEC has not even bothered to publish a profile of the organization and its staff hence it remains a very militaristic secretive organization. Let it dawn on ZEC that we can no longer be taken for granted as we demand a free, credible and fair election in 2018. We therefore invite Zimbabweans to demonstrate and stand up against ZEC bullying and shenanigans.
We invite Zimbabweans to stand up as we move towards a watershed moment in 2018. We indeed have a message for colleagues in CODE and NERA electoral activism that it is time to take a bold stand. It is time to trumpet on the walls of injustice and denial of freedom. Freedom comes through unity and unity comes through working together. Indeed, we are only stronger together in our efforts to restore democracy and usher in a new Zimbabwe.
DARE Head of Communications