Zanu (PF) Disruption Of Bill Hearing A Waste Of Time – Speaker

“I heard that in Bulawayo, Marondera and Mutare Zanu (PF) youths disrupted the Electoral Amendment bill public hearing meetings conducted by a parliamentary committee which I had sent. Zanu (PF) is just wasting its time,” Moyo told Radio VOP at the weekend.

“They think the Parliament will stop operating because of this, I am not even moved by that, I…will never stop doing my work because of these Zanu (PF) thugs,” he said.

Moyo was speaking on the side lines of a rally of the Movement for Democratic Change belonging to Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) at Nesigwe business centre in Nkayi North, Matebeleland North province.

The public hearings on the bill are being conducted by a Parliament Portfolio Committee on Justice, legal and Constitutional Affairs across the country. The Bill proposes a number of changes to the existing electoral law with a view to promoting free and fair elections. The Bill has put Zanu (PF) and the MDC-T on a collision course, for example, on the Diaspora vote. MDC-T wants Zimbabweans living in Diaspora to vote while Zanu (PF) is refusing.

In Kadoma suspected Zanu (PF) supporters and war veterans jeered at a disabled man who said police and army must stay away from polling stations forcing a premature end to a public hearing on the hearing of the Bill at the weekend.

Eddie Mugarepi, a handicapped, also known as Mboko said the police and army’s work is not within polling stations but to maintain peace

“You are disabled because you are a sellout,” someone from the public was overheard shouting. There was confusion among participants as some started walking out and forcing the committee chairman Eric Navaya to end the meeting.

Navaya called for written submissions to the Bill

The war vetarans who disrupted the meeting are believed to have been hired from as far as Sanyati and Chegutu.

Before the arrival of the ‘war vets’ earlier on, some residents had contributed to the public hearing, with the majority supporting non-violent elections.

Felix Zivhunze said, “We want a ward based voters roll and results must be out within 48 hours and made public at every polling station.”

He also supported the proposal for Diaspora people to vote and suggested that police must be at least 200 meters away from polling stations. Zivhunze added that international election monitors must be in the country six months before and after elections. 

Peter Gomba supported ward based elections saying, “There must be no violence during and after elections”

However former Kadoma deputy mayor Donald Musapurwa said only African Union monitors must be allowed into the country with army and police deployed at polling stations “to protect citizens”. He said those in the Diaspora must not vote at all and non government organisations must not fund political parties.

The hearings were initially set to begin in August, but were postponed due to fears of violence. This was after public hearings on the Human Rights Commission Bill were marred by violence two months ago, which was also blamed on Zanu (PF) supporters.