Sunday, 29 July 2018

THIS HAS BEEN A BETTER ELECTION : NCUBE

The MDC-Alliance says it is ready for tomorrow’s polls after freely campaigning across the country.

However, the party is sweating over 28 National Assembly constituencies where it fielded more than one candidate.

MDC-Alliance spokesperson Professor Welshman Ncube told The Sunday Mail last week that Zimbabweans should express themselves freely at the polls.

“We have canvassed quite extensively for support. We are pretty confident that we have done everything to win the elections and we now simply appeal to all Zimbabweans to turn up in their millions and express their sovereign right to choose a government of their choice,” said Prof Ncube.

“We are ready as we can possibly be in terms of mobilisation and preparedness; in terms of our campaign programmes at all levels, ward levels, constituency level as well as the national level and presidential level. We have been on the ground for almost seven months now,” he said. Prof Ncube conceded that the double nomination of candidates in 28 constituencies was a reality that could split votes.

“The issue of double Alliance candidates will obviously be an issue because supporters will support one of the Alliance candidates and obviously split votes at parliamentary level.

“So, clearly, it is something that is undesirable. We had hoped that by coming together as Alliance, we had avoided splitting the votes, but the reality is that we have those 28 constituencies where we still have double candidates. It has to be left to the voters now to decide,” said Prof Ncube.

He said the opposition had faced similar problems in the 2008 and 2013 elections. In addition, the MDC-Alliance this year failed to field candidates in two constituencies — Insiza North (Matabeleland South) and Chiredzi North (Masvingo).

Prof Ncube said the opening up of political space by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration had enabled the MDC-Alliance to access the electorate. “It’s not really for us to compare the two Zanu-PF presidents or governments, but from our point of view as an Alliance, we can say this election — in terms of access to the electorate, in terms of cohesion and intimidation through violence — is a better election.

“As I said, the general atmospheric issues — in terms of the police not interfering with mobilisation, banning rallies and intimidating people — it’s obviously a better environment from the Mugabe regime,” he said.

Prof Ncube accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of opacity in ballot printing, a only raised by that party and one that the elections management body has disputed. Sunday Mail



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