Harare – Representatives of the MDC-Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa this morning disrupted the National Multiparty Laison Meeting held at Rainbow Towers in the country’s capital.
Jameson Timba, who attended the party became disruptive and abusive leading to the ruling Zanu PF representatives leaving the venue in protest.
This came after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had rejected one out of several demands made by all parties in attendance during a similar meeting held on 20 July.
The four demands rejected were premised on the myth of a ‘mutating ballot’ – a phenomenon the Alliance claims will see ballot ink moving from one candidate to another.
The atmosphere during the meeting was generally heated, with alliance representatives using extremely charged language towards ZEC officials.
Things took a chaotic turn when Timba began directing abuse at Zanu PF representatives, including the spokesperson Paul Mangwana, who retaliated by walking out.
The walk out caused a media scramble, as some journalists present and observers followed the Zanu PF reps.
MDC representative, Douglas Mwonzora blamed Zanu PF and ZEC for the chaos.
“Our demands are not unreasonable. Escorting ballot papers from the district to province has always been standard practise.”
Zanu PFs representative Nick Mangwana dismissed the concern.
“They want to escort empty ballot papers. That is illogical. It causes a security risk. How can 55 parties and 110 cars follow one single car. What if it is ambushed,”
The electoral commission dismissed the demand, arguing that it would create a logistical problem as the commission would need to arrange for additional personnel to monitor the ballot escorts.
ZEC rejected the mutating ballot myth, stating that it was not supported by science.
Despite the tension, Mwonzora and Mangwana exchanged chuckles in the bar section of the hotel where the meeting was held, and engaged in light humoured banter.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Paul Mangwana accused the MDC of deliberately disruption.
“The issues are petty. They are intentionally trying to cause stalemates.”
An MDC alliance represented who asked to speak off record claimed the party members did not even buy the notion of moving ballots.
“Between you and me, most of our members think the moving ballot issue is nonsense. Its not a possible. I feel personally it is taking from the real outstanding issues.”