MDC-T has warned that it will shut down Harare and stop elections set for July 30 if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), does not accede to its demands for reforms.
Addressing supporters in Mutoko, party leader, Nelson Chamisa accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of plotting to steal the election through systematic rigging and denying other parties access to information.
“I want to tell Ngwena (Mnangagwa) that he cannot set the exam without showing us the syllabus, set the exams, sit for them with us and then he also becomes the person who marks, that is unfair and cheating,” he said.
Already, Mnangagwa has signed the Electoral Amendment Act and has proclaimed July 30 as the date for the elections.
The official opposition party said although they were ready for the elections, no polls would be held without them being satisfied on what was prevailing on the ground in as far as their demands are concerned.
Chamisa warned that his party could flex its muscle and demonstrate against the abuse of power by Zanu PF.
“We have the numbers and we can close down Harare, in a peaceful demonstration against this abuse of authority. We will not let the election happen if we do not agree on crucial issues like the printing of the ballot and its chemical composition, this time we have our eyes on the ball,” he said.
The party’s youth assembly leader, Happymore Chidziva said they were taking to the streets on Tuesday and if their demands are not met, no elections will take place.
“If the necessary reforms are not implemented, there is not going to be an election. We are stakeholders and our views must be taken into account,” he said.
“Right now, there [was] a process for voters’ roll inspection, but we don’t have a copy of it.
“We want the playing field to be fair and we will have a demonstration on June 5 to demand reforms.
“This is one way of making sure that our views are acted upon. We are not going back on our demands.”
Since 2016, opposition parties under the banner of National Electoral Reform Agenda mounted several demonstrations against both the government and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission demanding the implementation electoral reforms.
The opposition parties have been claiming there will be no elections without the desired reforms.
MDC-T youth assembly secretary-general, Lovemore Chinoputsa weighed in, claiming they would derail the elections if their demands were not met.
He said although all wings of the party and coalition partners were involved, the youth would take a leading role to express their frustration with the lack of implementing their preferred reforms.
“It’s a call by the people in the party that on June 5, we will march to demand our electoral reforms,” Chinoputsa said.
“We have been piling pressure, but it seems there is no movement, so the march is a realisation that, as young people, we need to push harder.
“The kind of demands we want don’t even take 24 hours to implement. They include disclosure on who is printing the ballots, access to the voters’ roll and scrapping of polling stations that were illegally gazetted, among others.
“We will make sure that we derail the elections if our demands are not met.”
Chidziva and Chinoputsa insisted the demonstrations would be peaceful.