MDC-T rubbishes poll boycott report
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The MDC-T has denied media reports that it is planning to boycott elections and said it is ready to win in the upcoming watershed elections because our confidence lies in the people's desire to see a new, better and prosperous Zimbabwe.
The party said its confidence lies in the people's desire to see a new, better and prosperous Zimbabwe.
"The MDC totally dismisses as false, utterances of an election boycott attributed to our Secretary General Tendai Biti during a press conference held on Tuesday 29 January 2013 at Harvest House.
"Biti did not, at any point during his delivery, mention, let alone insinuate the idea of an election boycott by the MDC."
"It is unacceptable for the Daily News to misrepresent or distort the statement made by Hon Biti."
"The statement attributed to Biti to the effect that, "We are not going for polls if these hooligans are the ones still in charge of running the elections is mischievous and malicious."
"Whilst we cherish freedom of press, we in the same vain encourage responsible journalism and call upon journalists to verify their facts before publishing."
The party said it takes great exception at the surge of unsubstantiated and negative reportage which is consistent with a deliberate attack on the party's leadership, especially when this comes hot on the heels of another fabricated report just recently, alleging a rift between Hon Biti and the Party's National Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa.
"To set the record straight, the MDC has always been ready for an election ever since it was launched in 1999. The fact that the MDC has won in all the previous elections, particularly the 2008 ones, indicates the desire by the people of Zimbabwe to see a new and democratic Zimbabwe. It is a pointer that the people want change."
"The people of Zimbabwe have embraced the MDC and have placed their hope in the party; hence, whatever the magnitude of the persecution from which ever quarter, the people will vote in their numbers for a new beginning and real transformation which will be brought about by the MDC government."
The MDC Secretary General, Tendai Biti has described this year's elections as watershed comparing them with those held in 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence.
However, he said the MDC will continue calling for major reforms before elections are held in order to ensure that there is no repeat of the kind of violence that took place in the country in 2008 when Zanu-PF was defeated at the polls by the MDC.
The MDC's position as outlined in the Conditions for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe (CoSEZ) launched by the party last year is that there should be security of the vote, security of the voter, a guarantee for the security of the people's will, implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in full and all other agreed positions including the implementation of regional and international standards on democratic elections.
"We are very clear on these four issues. We can have elections tomorrow but if there are no reforms it will be one step forward and 20 steps backwards and we will have a similar situation like we had in 2008," said Biti.
He said the new Constitution expected to sail through when the referendum is held, will speak on a number of issues that can affect the holding of free, fair and violence free elections in Zimbabwe.
"In the past it was difficult to register to vote as people were asked to get letters from the headmen or landlords but the new Act has liberalised that. The new Constitution further calls for the announcement of the election results within 48 hrs and the results will be posted outside the polling stations while all candidates will get soft copies of the results," said Biti.
He said the MDC is insisting on an electronic registration system.
Turning to the staffing at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Biti said the issue of opaque staffing at the electoral commission remained one of the outstanding issues.
"We are not victimising the ZEC staff but the new ZEC board should be allowed to recruit staff and grade them and retain employees they see as gems for the organisation," he said.
Biti said as a labour backed party, the MDC is not insisting that ZEC workers be dismissed but that there be transparency in everything taking place at ZEC.
He said the MDC was concerned by the increase of political intimidation, violence and arrests taking place across the country. "That is why we are saying that JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) must be empowered at province, district and ward levels. This will help in mitigating violence," said Biti.
He said Zimbabwe needed AU, SADC and international observers during the referendum and the elections and that the coming elections should be held under the 2004 SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and that the MDC expected non-governmental organisations and the media to do their work without being harassed.
"The transfer of power in the next elections will be respected. We are tired of always being on the agenda of SADC and as the MDC we are JUICED UP for the elections."
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