MABVUKU-Tafara MP, James Maridadi (MDC-T) has chided Zanu PF legislators for being intolerant to divergent political views and rushing to criminalise the newly-formed New Patriotic Front (NPF) led by Ambrose Mutinhiri.
Maridadi was contributing to debate on the second reading stage of the Electoral Amendment Bill on Friday, where he criticised Zanu PF for perennially being in electoral mode, instead of taking a break to fix the economy.
“Zanu PF are declaring war on Mutinhiri for forming a new political party and have been bashing Mutinhiri in the State-controlled media, as if he has committed a crime,” he said.
“They have gone to the extent of saying that he is beholden to former President Robert Mugabe, as if it is a crime. I would have preferred for Mutinhiri to join the main opposition MDC-T, but it is his constitutional right to join any political party of his choice,” he said.
The MP said if the electoral playing field was not even, then MDC-T president, Nelson Chamisa would refrain from contesting, which would make the election illegitimate.
“If electoral reforms are not implemented, Chamisa said he might not contest the elections. The Zanu PF government needs more participation in this election than the MDC-T and if Chamisa does not participate, then the elections will be a farce and Zanu PF will suffer problems of legitimacy. Right now, President Emmerson Mnangagwa suffers the problem of legitimacy and the 2018 elections are important for legitimacy,” he said.
Maridadi called on State media to give equal coverage to all political players in the country.
“When we go for elections, ZBC must be accessible to all political parties. They should not take out of context rallies of opposition political parties. Chamisa had a rally in Chinhoyi for two hours, but he has not even been given one minute of coverage by ZBC,” he said.
Maridadi said the ruling party must also desist from using rice, which is donated to the government social services department for vote buying.
The MP said archaic laws like the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) must be repealed.
“We cannot continue to use legislation, which was adopted 37 years ago. Why should we continue to hold on to relics of colonialism? Posa and Aippa must go,” he said.