18 January 2018

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Says Thousands of Soldiers Deployed Throughout Rural Zim, Cites Party Intelligence

Photo: The Herald
Zimbabwe National Army parade (file photo).

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has deployed the army throughout the rural areas in a sinister move to scare villagers into voting Zanu PF, the MDC-T has said.

Mnangagwa, the MDC-T said Wednesday, is also actively pursuing a plan to postpone or delay elections which he promised would go ahead "as scheduled" later this year.

The MDC-T issued a statement following the conclusion of a standing committee meeting chaired by acting president Elias Mudzuri while party leader Morgan Tsvangirai seeks medical treatment for colon cancer in South Africa.

"The MDC is also deeply concerned by the continued militarization of villages around the country. We have solid and incontrovertible evidence pointing to the fact that thousands of army officers in civilian attire have been deployed into the countryside for the purpose of carrying out clandestine political campaigns on behalf of Zanu PF," the MDC-T said demanding the immediate "demilitarisation of all our villages and communities".

According to the statement, the Wednesday meeting also discussed other election related issues including the demand for an internationally supervised poll.

"Amongst other important issues, it was also stressed that all election materials, including the ballot papers, must be procured in a transparent and credible manner that will enable all stakeholders to be satisfied with the level of transparency and accountability.

"More importantly, the meeting also resolved that there must be a clear and concise road map towards the holding of the harmonized elections this year. The MDC calls upon the government, in conjunction with ZEC, to provide clear timelines as to when the elections will be held this year," said the statement.

While Mnangagwa has claimed Tsvangirai broached the discussion on a possible delay of the elections, the MDC-T claimed it has intelligence the Zanu PF leader is planning the same.

"Our impeccable party intelligence has since gathered information to the effect that there are untoward and improper machinations that the Mnangagwa administration is currently pursuing in order to delay and/or postpone the holding of elections when they are due.

"We also demand that the 2018 elections be Sadc, AU and UN guaranteed. Basically this means that the elections have to have the seal of approval of all these important organisations and also that they produce a result that is credible and reflects the true will of the people," the party said.

Tsvangirai's spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, rubbished the claims attributed to Mnangagwa's spin-doctor George Charamba.

In the statement, the MDC-T also called on the military top brass to make a public pledge to the effect that they will respect and "accept the outcome of free and fair elections regardless of whoever is going to win these elections."

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