MDC ALLIANCE threatens to protests over Zec proof of residents requirement

 

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

There is a looming showdown between MDC Alliance and the country’s electoral body as the opposition parties coalition seeks accountability and transparency from the on-going BVR exercise.

This was revealed by MDC-T secretary general and MDC Alliance Legal and Electoral Reforms committee chairperson Douglas Mwonzora after a meeting in the capital on Thursday.

Mwonzora said the committee resolved to scrap the proof of residence requirement for registrants.

“We resolved that there is the need to remove the proof of residence requirement as it has been cited by the electoral body as one of the major deterrent to would-be registrants,” said Mwonzora.

He said the MDC Alliance is agreeable to the fact that they should have access to the server of the BVR exercise.

“All parties under the MDC Alliance agreed that there is the need for access to the server as it is a  constitutional right to access to information for advancement and protection of that right,” argued the lawyer-cum-politician.

Most aliens have been turned away at BVR centres if they have not renounced their citizenship, but the MDC Alliance  is  proposing that they should  not be forced to surrender their citizenship but just need to furnish the ZEC officials with a birth certificate confirming that they were indeed born in Zimbabwe on top of the required documentation(metal, plastic, paper ID or a valid passport).

Mwonzora added that there was a need for an independent auditor to audit the voters’ roll.

“ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau has been on the record saying that the electoral body will not allow an independent auditor with regards to the voter’s roll but we will be pushing for an independent auditor for accountability and transparency, ”he added.

The pact is also taking Zanu-PF to task regarding the alleged recording of serial numbers of certificates of registration arguing that it is a violation of privacy and unconstitutional. Zanu-PF representatives met with ZEC and resolved to look into the matter but the MDC Alliance says if the ‘misdemeanor’ goes unabated they will take the legal route.

The coalition said there will be writing all their demands to the electoral body and will take even extra-judicial activities like peaceful demonstrations against ZEC and diplomatic solutions.

Meanwhile, the Alliance has also taken a swipe at the Chiefs Council President Fortune Charumbira for violating the constitution by endorsing Mugabe. The alliance said Charumbira should retract his statement or else he should be prepared to face the legal battle.

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