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MRP objects to harmonised elections

Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) says national elections should not be harmonised so as to give the electorate the opportunity to carefully select their preferred representatives and to eliminate any chances for rigging.

Zimbabwe introduced harmonised elections in 2008, which saw voters electing councillors, members of parliament and a president at the same time.

Before that, the country used to hold legislative and presidential elections separately, for instance in the year 2000, people voted in parliamentary elections while the presidential vote was done in 2002.

“Our objection to harmonised elections is premised on the argument that every time when its election time, Zanu-PF easily rigs due to the fact that many people put their focus on the presidential election and fail to realise that local and parliamentary elections matter most more than the presidential election,” said MRP leader, Mqondisi Moyo, in an interview with CITE after addressing an e-rally on Sunday.

Moyo noted that proper governance started locally in local centres of power and this was where the electorate had to put their focus.

“Our electorate always thinks that in order for them to be heard they have to vote for Zanu-PF or MDC, from councillors, MPs and the president. This leads to them failing to vote for capable local representatives due to lots of focus placed on who would be the next president,” he said.

Moyo indicated that history has proven that the ruling party often performs badly in parliamentary elections, which was why Zanu-PF wanted to harmonise elections.

“We learnt from history that especially after the 2000 elections, Zanu-PF performs dismally when people vote for MPs and councillors yet emerge winners under the presidential election. This is a clear sign that no one can vote for an opposition councillor and MP yet for the presidential vote, choose Zanu-PF. Harmonisation was brought as a way of promoting rigging,” he alleged.

The MRP leader added that his party would canvass to separate harmonised elections, just like before.

“We didn’t have harmonised elections up to around 2005. The harmonised elections were introduced in 2008 and remember on the first round of elections that time, (former president, the late Robert) Mugabe was trounced by (the late MDC-T leader Morgan) Tsvangirai hence the refusal by the military and people like (current president Emmerson) Mnangagwa and a run-off was introduced,” Moyo alleged.

He noted that MRP will from next year in early January, start embarking on ‘powerful’ voter education and mass mobilisation to educate people on the importance of registering and voting.

“Our candidates will also start campaigning for the local government and parliamentary seats. This is so that the party can achieve political power emancipation. Educating the masses on electoral processes is a way of making our people understand that it is up to us to force the current regime to do what we want. If it means defying and staging mass demonstrations on this we will do so, with the hope that Covid-19 will be over,” Moyo said.

Moyo added that “Not forgetting that Zanu-PF introduced harmonised elections without consulting the electorate and to us this is an infringement of the rights of the electorate. Unfortunately, the MDC dined and wined with Zanu-PF and failed to even address these electoral reforms.”

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