Chamisa, Police on collision course

    Harare – A showdown is looming between the MDC Alliance and government amid reports that Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has turned down the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance’s request to picket and demonstrate at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) offices from Monday this week.

    The MDC Alliance had issued a 7-day-notice requesting permission to demonstrate from July 25 until the elections day forcing the electoral managing board to implement electoral reforms aimed at leveling the playfield ahead of the July 30 watershed elections.

    This comes soon after elders, an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela, issued a stern warning to the MDC Alliance saying the demands by the opposition should be reasonable.

    In a statement soon after meeting various political players and assessing the pre-election environment the Elders urged Zimbabweans to work together to ensure a free, fair and transparent poll.

    The Elders leader, Kofi Annan said “It is critical that everyone acts responsibly before, during and after the elections.”

    Despite the ban by ZRP, the MDC Alliance leadership has kept on calling for donations in the form of water, mobile toilets and even blankets for its supporters who will be picketing at the ZEC offices.

    The MDC Alliance ‘s Chalton Hwende posted on his Facebook page saying “We are pressing ahead with our preparation for the night vigils and demonstrations this week. We want a free and fair election. We are prepared to die just like the thousands of our brothers and sisters who died defending one man one vote during the war of liberation.”

    Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana said the MDC Alliance cannot stop elections.

    “The law will take its course because no one, not even Zanu PF has the power to stop elections. They (MDC Alliance) are free to boycott without disrupting the elections. They cannot hold Zimbabwe to ransom,” Mangwana said.

    “We have been holding Multi party Liaison meetings for the past four years and never has been these issues tabled by their representatives. We are shocked each time we hear of their demands. Only on Friday we had a successful meeting where we were shown the ballot sample but after that we heard Chamisa demanding the reprinting of the ballots. This nation has the power to choose its leaders.”

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