16 February 2017

Zimbabweans Worried About SADC, AU Endorsements - Tsvangirai

Photo: The Herald Zimbabwe
Morgan Tsvangirai leader of MDC -T, biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe .

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Wednesday Zimbabweans are worried about the role of the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) and Africa Union (AU) ahead of fresh elections next year.

The former prime minister was addressing the media after wrapping up his tour of Manicaland province during which he consulted Zimbabweans on the proposed opposition coalition against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

"We have completed our tour and the fundamental issue is that we are faced with a crisis and we are engaging people," he said.

"They have told us that they are concerned with bad governance issues that have led to the collapse of social systems in our country.

"People are concerned about SADC and AU endorsements in recent election even when the situation is not free and fair, so monitoring of election becomes critical."

The AU and SADC have readily endorsed President Mugabe's victories in previous elections despite opposition claims that the votes were rigged.

He said Zimbabweans are still concerned about rigging, especially after the country introduced the biometric voter registration system.

"People want to know to what extent has the electoral process improve.

"They have expressed concern on the independence of ZEC and use of security officials as polling agents," said Tsvangirai.

However, vote buying through politicisation of food aid would likely be reduced.

"People are usually exploited when there is drought but in this case exploitation will be less as people will have sufficient food to feed themselves," said Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T leader however, said he was more assured about next year's elections due to the involvement of the United Nations (UN).

"I am sure they (UN) will spend $200 million and they will be equally concerned on how the polls will be run," said MDC President.

Tsvangirai toured parts of Chimanimani, Chipinge, Nyanga and Mutasa districts where people expressed mixed feelings on the issue of a grand coalition.

Traditional leaders and youths said they were against an opposition coalition as they felt that Joice Mujuru's ZimPF party was a Zanu PF project meant to cause confusion among the electorate.

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