NATIONAL Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA) has accused the Zanu PF government of starting the process of rigging the 2018 elections using various methods.
Didymus Mutasa, chairperson of the umbrella body representing opposition political parties pushing for electoral reforms ahead of the elections, said the latest ban on demonstrations, police brutality and moves by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to thwart electoral reforms was a grand plot to steal elections.
“The government-sponsored brutality and yet another ban announced on Monday against constitutional attempts to push for far-reaching electoral reforms represent a de-facto state of emergency and a willingness by this regime to rig the next election,” Mutasa said.
Nera which on Monday walked out of a meeting with ZEC said the government’s violent clampdown on political parties showed that the gloves were off as Zanu PF was now in an all-out war to win 2018 elections.
“This is now a poisoned national environment and points to the fact that the 2018 elections have already been rigged. It is trite for anyone to expect a credible election in 2018 when genuine and constitutional demands for electoral reform are met with police brutality and weekly bans of protests that are allowed by the constitution,” Mutasa said.
However, Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere urged Nera to bring its concerns to Parliament. He said political parties under Nera we afraid of elections.
“How can Mutasa say that now when he was minister and MP on the strength of the electoral laws he wants changed today? Why did he not say anything at that time,” asked Kasukuwere?
In the face of the police brutality, demonstration bans and resistance from Zec, Nera said it will go ahead with “grand” nationwide demonstrations planned for Saturday.
“As NERA, we remain resolute that we will continue with the constitutional protests for far-reaching electoral reforms. As such, the nationwide demonstrations slated for Saturday, September, will continue as planned despite the illegal police bans,” Mutasa said.