THE Christopher Mutsvangwa-led war veterans’ executive has joined other democratic forces in demanding electoral reforms to level the political playing field ahead of the 2018 elections.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya yesterday urged the Zanu PF regime to heed the growing public calls for electoral reforms so that it can reconnect with the masses.
“A government of the people, by the people should demonstrate its righteousness by listening to the cries of the people. If the people argue that the electoral playfield is skewed in favour of one political party. A people’s government should listen and reform,” he said.
Opposition parties under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) have been agitating for electoral reforms, but Mugabe has obstinately refused, with a senior official in Zanu PF saying “we will not reform ourselves out of power”.
Mahiya said former freedom fighters, who prior to this year’s fall-out with Mugabe, had been regarded as his political shock-troopers, will demand a violence-free poll.
“We want to see political parties participating in the country’s electoral processes peacefully. War veterans will stand up and oppose any election that is violent and we will not allow the killing or shedding of blood anymore.
“We have had enough and enough of our people have died already especially during the war. The violence must stop and we are appalled at the direction the country is taking ahead of the 2018 elections,” the war veterans’ spokesperson said.
Reforms, Mahiya said, will allow Zimbabweans to accept the reality of elections and provide unquestioned legitimacy to poll victors.
“We are for now afflicted by primitive avarice, bereft of neither vision nor imagination under the spell of G40. Zimbabwe stands absolutely no chance of lifting itself from the economic mess that Jonathan Moyo (Higher Education minister) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government minister) have engendered. Our party is in turmoil blighted by misgovernance, political collapse, which is a logical sequel to a revolution that has swapped the vision of its original cadres for myopic inspiration of a deserter turned traitor and his infantile cohorts,” he said.
While Mugabe has accused the opposition, that now includes his former deputy Joice Mujuru, who now leads the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party and MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, of supping with Western countries, Mahiya said no party was immune to influence from global forces.
“No party in Zimbabwe can claim righteousness or that it is immune to influence from Western countries and interests. No one should claim righteousness because we have seen people in the current government harassing war veterans the very people who fought and defeated imperialism.
“War veterans are the only group that can at least claim righteousness or immunity from Western interference and this we should by our gallant fight against colonialism. We showed this by establishing a counter-government to the one that had the support of the might western powers. But even then, the government that we helped set-up, has been infiltrated by the enemy,” he said.