It never rains but pours for President Robert Mugabe’s government which faces a new wave of protests by 12 political parties that are pushing for electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 general elections
The protest will be held on 26 August in Harare and will be led by leaders of all the opposition parties.
Poll reforms are considered critical for the opposition, which of late has shown seriousness in converging as a grand coalition, to win elections against the ruling Zanu PF that has repeatedly been accused of electoral fraud.
The 12 parties will be demanding the immediate implementation of the electoral reforms amid concerns that time is fast running out.
The parties planning the demonstration where some 200,000 people are expected to participate include the Movement for Democratic Change formations led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube (MDC-T and MDC), Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) that has been avoiding joint action with other organisation, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and ZAPU.
ZimPF’s Didymus Mutasa who currently chairs NERA said they intended to push the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure the military to be barred from active politics.
“We don’t want to see the army, police and the intelligence being involved in party politics. We don’t want to see soldiers campaigning for Zanu PF or any other party. They must stay in the barracks, not in rural areas intimidating our villagers,” he said.
“We are demanding that the State media be professional in the coverage of all political parties and that no State resources are abused by the ruling party or any party.
“I am saying this with hindsight and experience. I know what used to happen, so we are saying that must stop,” added Mutasa,a former intelligence minister under Mugabe who admitted Zanu PF had been stealing elections.
Murisi Zwizwai, a senior MDC-T member, urged civil society to take part in the demonstration.
“I am talking to war veterans, groups such as Tajamuka, #ThisFlag, #BeatThePot and others. This is our time to start preparing for a better, democratic Zimbabwe,” said Zwizwai, in reference to civil groups that mobilised largely successful protests in July