9 March 2017

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Says Nikuv to Move in to Rig 2018 Elections, Demo Set for 22 March

Photo: IRIN
Voting in Zimbabwe (file photo).

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Zanu PF has already started the process of rigging the 2018 elections with attempts to bring in "dubious companies such as Nikuv International projects" under a different name while a spy agency of a country which he didn't name was already at work.

Tsvangirai said this Thursday in Harare after the MDC-T national executive meeting a day before. His comments followed reports that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has allowed the government to hijack the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise.

"We are hearing more disturbing reports about what this government is doing to subvert the will of the people in the next election. For instance, we are aware of teams that have been working and training under the tutelage of a spy agency of a country that shall remain nameless for now.

"There is also a ploy to have NIKUV International Projects get registered under surrogate names in an attempt to enable the company to win the tender to supply the BVR kits," said Tsvangirai.

In 2013, Nikuv International Projects, an Israeli firm, was accused of helping Zanu PF to rig the elections.

Tsvangirai added, "If Zimbabwe proceeds to use the BVR system, which Zanu PF is not keen to do, we are also aware of plans to have Nikuv International Projects work with some named Indian companies in hacking or engaging in cyber- attacks on the whole electoral system once it becomes clear that the results are not going in Zanu PF's favour."

"We are aware therefore that plans are afoot to either control or derail the BVR process, frustrate voter registration and the actual voting in perceived opposition strongholds. We know as well that there are plans to tamper with silver nitrate and other inks such as UV ink that may be used in order to fudge the result of the next election."

Tsvangirai said the national executive resolved that the MDC-T, together other parties, would "utilize all legitimate and constitutionally permissible avenues at our disposal to stop this daylight theft".

"Whether in the courts or in the streets, we shall fight all attempts to steal the next election and we fully endorse the resolution that we took with others under the banner of NERA to mobilize Zimbabweans for a public protest on the 22nd of March! Indeed, come hail come high water, we will do all we can to stem the subversion of the people's will," vowed the former Prime Minister.

According to Tsvangirai, the MDC-T is demanding a credible voters' roll, that civil servants and traditional leaders should stick to their constitutional roles, that stern action on vote-buying be taken; the chlorinating of the ZEC secretariat, guaranteed access to the public media by all parties, agreement on the printing of voting material, safety of candidates, presence of polling agents from all political parties at polling stations, Diaspora vote, and that observers be allowed into the country without restrictions.

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