MDC Founding Member calls upcoming elections fair and reasonable

MDC Founding Member calls upcoming elections fair and reasonable
Published: 19 June 2018 (486 Views)
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has been dealt a devastating blow to their long-standing attempts to brand the upcoming July presidential elections as illegitimate by one of their own. In fact, the figure who stands against Chamisa's pronouncements is none other than MDC Founder, MDC-T policy advisor and Bulawayo legislator Mr Eddie Cross.

Zimbabwe's new Constitution, Government and Electoral Commission have put the country on the right path towards the most "reasonable" elections since 1964, Mr Cross observed, writing on his website.

Mr Cross said while 38-year-old Zimbabwe was not a perfect democracy, it took older states like Britain 600 years to get where they are today.

“It took Britain 600 years to get there (to democracy) and we could argue that many older States are still not there in all respects. The one thing that is true, is that we are in a much better place to hold a reasonable election than at any time since 1964," Mr Cross wrote.

"The great difference this time is that international observers and the media are now welcome guests and not 'enemies of the State'. We do not have to smuggle them in as 'golfers' or to smuggle their footage out once it is captured. The interaction with ZEC, as opposed to that secretive old man at the Registrar General's Office, Mudede, is completely different -- they listen…….we have access and get a hearing."

The observations by Mr Cross will be seen as egg in the face of MDC Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa, who has been saying "it's either a free and fair election or no election", while demanding so-called electoral reforms.

Mr Cross, a trained economist, also spoke of change in the conduct of the police and how for the first time he managed to inspect a "reasonably clean" voters' roll.

In fact, Mr Cross' comments about the voters' roll was also attested by foreign observers, including the British Embassy which applied to inspect the voters' roll under a fake name and received access to the full list within a very short amount of time, as have many thousands of others.

"Is this real democracy? I inspected the voters' roll in my District and found my face on a page with all the details correct. It's brand new and contains 5,5 million voters and should be reasonably clean. Previous rolls were maintained in secret under military control at a barracks in Harare and were constantly manipulated. There were millions of dead voters on it and it was used to ensure victory after victory for the ruling Party. Having a Constitutional right to inspect the roll or buy an electronic version meant nothing," wrote Mr Cross.

This clean bill of health for the upcoming elections, voters' roll and other unprecedented democratic rights will be a shock to many in Zimbabwe, especially within the MDC who have been fighting a propaganda war trying to form the idea that the elections will not be free or fair.

Mr Cross is more than independent in these matters; he would have been looking for something to discredit the process and the elections. The fact that he saw few problems and appears to be looking forward to the elections will be an eye opener for many.


- Knowledge Moyo

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