Bulawayo — MDC Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday escaped unhurt after a poorly constructed stage collapsed while he was introducing his party's candidates at a rally in Hwange.
The incident, together with a traffic accident which seriously injured 19 of his supporters after a truck they were travelling in overturned in Binga on Saturday, overshadowed his weekend sojourn in Matabeleland North.
The supporters injured in the road traffic accident were coming from a rally addressed by Mr Chamisa at Manjolo Business Centre on Saturday.
Yesterday, as Mr Chamisa was introducing aspiring council candidates under the MDC Alliance banner at a rally in Hwange at No. 1 Old Grounds, the stage collapsed, sending everyone to the ground, although Mr Chamisa managed to remain on his feet.
Addressing another rally at Chinotimba Stadium in Victoria Falls yesterday, Mr Chamisa bragged that unlike his predecessor, the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, he will not allow the election to go ahead without electoral reforms.
"(President) Mnangagwa wants to get into office through the window, abusing conditions for elections," he said.
"That's why I told him that I will not accept what they used to do to Tsvangirai who was robbed with his eyes open.
"As long as we don't agree on the issue of ballot paper, the election will not be done."
Other leading partners of the MDC Alliance such as Professor Welshman Ncube and Mr Tendai Biti did not attend the rally.
Mr Chamisa said he was determined to make sure his demands were met.
"We will push until it's done," he said.
"What I am saying is that as long as we have not agreed on who prints the ballot paper, where it will be printed and how the security around the ballot paper will be like, there will be no election in Zimbabwe."
Mr Chamisa and his Alliance recently handed a petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) demanding an electronic copy of the provisional voters' roll, an independent external audit of the voters' roll, retirement of alleged security personnel within ZEC, access to BVR servers and also queried the establishment of additional polling stations.
ZEC's reply indicated that some of the items contained in the MDC Alliance petition on electoral reforms were misdirected as they could not be legally dealt with by the commission.
The commission said it could not accede to the Alliance's demands to delay the elections as that was the responsibility of the courts.
Yesterday, Mr Chamisa told his supporters that he was confident of winning the election.
He promised to trim Cabinet and Parliament, as well as devolve power to provinces by relocating Parliament to Gweru, while Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls become commercial, industrial and tourism capitals, respectively.
Mr Chamisa said he will introduce e-government for citizens to access all services, including passport application and voter registration online.
He said he had been misunderstood on the bullet trains issue, saying his idea was to have fast trains that can go round the country to promote domestic tourism, while promising to transform the country within two years.