By Yvonne Manjengwa
HARARE- HUNDREDS of civil society organisations under the banner of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) yesterday held a demonstration at Africa Unit Square demanding electoral reforms from the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Addressing protesters at the demonstration Rashid Mahiya, CiZC chairperson said although the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) barred them from marching from the Central Business District (CBD) to the offices of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, their message is clear they are only demanding electoral reforms for the upcoming 2018 elections.
“We want peaceful elections and an audit from ZEC, we want to know who runs elections, ZEC or the military”, said Mahiya.
“There are so many petitions that were put by different Civil organisations and even individuals but it is important that these petitions find value in the form of citizens marching targeting the policy makers particularly the legislature”, added Mahiya.
Some placards were written “MILITARY HAVE NO PLACE IN ELECTION”, “EQUAL ACCESS TO MEDIA FOR ALL PARTIES”, “STOP INTIMIDATING THE ELECTORATE”, read some of the banners.
Director of CiZC, Thulani Mswelanto said the main objective of the demonstration was to send a message to the government to say that they want free, fair and credible elections this year.
“We submitted a petition three years ago and we were replied by the government 2 weeks ago saying that they do not have money to implement the reforms thus we will continue to demonstrate until they do something”, said Mswelanto.
Mswelanto added that they were disappointed by Justice Chigumba’s trip to Russia with Chris Mustvangwa.
“We all know that Chris Mutsvangwa is Mnangagwa’s proxy he went to Russia to represent his party.Mustvangwa was the only one who went to Russia, why was the invitation not extended to other political parties. Within ZEC there are political parties committee why didn’t they include other parties for diversity purposes”, said Mswelanto.
CiZC demanded the military to reassert its obligation to upholding and protecting the constitution with respect to elections and electoral processes and that ZEC conducts itself in a transparent, accountable, non –partisan manner in all electoral processes.