|Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai|
Zimbabwean opposition parties has on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, demanded that this year presidential elections should be conducted by a committee ordained by the United Nations and the African Union.
The parties said this was necessary because they have lost confidence in the non-partisan vow of the local election commission.
The world oldest leader, President Robert Mugabe, who is 94-year-old and have been on the country’s power seat since Independent, that is 30 years now, is also on the verge of contesting again.
Chieftains from some of the political parties in the country, including Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, told supporters during a protest rally that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC have failed to be partial and its workers should be disbanded.
The country’s Police command deployed water cannon and anti-riot men on the streets of the nation’s capital throughout the day after confining the protesters to an open space on the edge of the city centre.
The opposition parties, who have united themselves under a platform called National Election Reform Agenda (NERA), were protesting against changes to the voter registration procedures.
They said that they would all support Tsvangirai to face Mugabe in the next presidential poll.
Recall that the Anti-government protests carried out in August turned out to be some of the worst violence ever seen in Zimbabwe for two decades as anger trail the current economic hardship.
Farai Mbire, who is the NERA Chairman said the UN, African Union and the Southern African Development Community, SADC, must immediately establish an independent, tripartite election management committee to take over the full responsibility of ZEC.
They said Mugabe’s administration should back off from its decision to take over the procure of biometric voter registration kits from the UN.
They are afraid that the process will make it easier for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to change the list of eligible voters in its favor.
Mbire did not say what would transpire if Mugabe’s government snub their request.
The legal secretary of ZANU-PF and Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said that it is ZEC’s constitutional right to conduct elections.
Anti-riot police permitted some reasonable number of NERA officials to submit a petition to the offices of ZEC.
Zimbabwe is preparing to hold its next presidential and parliamentary election by July 2018.
Mugabe has started enjoying some endorsement for his re-election from some quarters, especially his own party, which is the ruling party’s presidential candidate.