By Simplicius Chirinda
Harare, July 29, 2013-MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has issued a stern warning to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) not to try and rig Wednesday’s harmonized election in favour of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
Tsvangirai, who was addressing his party’s last campaign rally dubbed “Cross Over” on Monday afternoon told a bumper crowd of about 70 000 supporters who painted the open space between the Harare Magistrates Court and the Rainbow Towers Hotel that they should defend their vote.
“In the last couple of weeks we have asked for the voters’ roll as a presidential candidate but we did not get it. We are not aware who is printing the voters’ roll and how many are being printed and where,” said Tsvangirai to an attentive crowd that painted the larger part of the city centre red.
“ZEC has abrogated the responsibility of running this election to some forces. The credibility of this election lies in the conduct of ZEC. But one day or two days before the poll it appears ZEC is not up to the task.”
He added, “Ladies and gentlemen of ZEC, if you are not the ones responsible for this mess just go. For a long time Zimbabweans have been shortchanged in the manner in which polls have been conducted but we will not be cheated again,” said Tsvangirai, who in March 2008 handed Mugabe his first electoral defeat since 1980.
“Don’t dare do it again. We respect national institutions but we won’t respect the deliberate attempt to subvert the will of the people,” he added.
On Sunday , Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 33 years said he is still traumatised by losing the March 2008 election to Tsvangirai and said he would suffer a heart attack if the former trade union leader defeats him again.
Zimbabweans will vote on Wednesday to elect a new government that will take over from the coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed almost five years ago to stem the country’s political and economic crisis.