Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Chamisa declares polls stalemate

Views
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa (pictured) yesterday disclosed that he had triggered a regional diplomatic offensive to pressure Sadc to convene an urgent extra-ordinary summit on “the Zimbabwean crisis”, particularly on issues around transparency in the printing of the ballot paper and voters’ roll.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Chamisa told journalists that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba’s “intransigence” over the printing of the ballot paper and voters’ roll had forced the opposition to seek regional intervention as the election date was fast drawing closer.
“We had noted 10 demands and scaled this down to two minimum flash points or red line issues, including the voters’ roll and the ballot. These are crucial that we will not negotiate. Chigumba has said these issues are water under the bridge, but she is mistaken if she thinks these issues will go away,” Chamisa said.
“We will not take anything lying (down). We will not accept a ballot paper that is not to our satisfaction. If we are to agree to an election, we must have a ballot paper printed according to the law.
“This is the dispute, we have a stalemate and we have a crisis. We cannot have an election when we don’t know where the ballot paper is, who has printed it and its quality. I have no evidence that the ballot paper was printed in Zimbabwe. That makes it a very serious matter.”
High-level sources within the MDC Alliance also revealed that Chamisa’s team had met various “key embassies” representing regional countries and written to Sadc chairperson, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, who acknowledged receipt.
“Initially, we wanted to send out envoys, but the situation deteriorated so quickly, especially after the Bulawayo incident (police postal voting fiasco) to the point where we now want direct diplomacy,” 
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko could not be reached for comment yesterday and had not responded to questions e-mailed to him by the time of going to print last night.