OPPOSITION MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora has demanded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government implements electoral reforms before the 2023 elections.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Mwonzora said he remains hopeful that his push for electoral reforms before the 2023 elections will be successful as President Mnangagwa responded to his plea for dialogue.
“MDC-T remains committed to dialogue. We are going to push for electoral reforms and we are going to get them,” he said.
“Our mentality is focused on getting these reforms. We know how to get them through dialogue and this dialogue will be inclusive, genuine and unconditional.
“Therefore, with regards to what will happen if certain things do not happen in 2023, we are not able to postulate. We can’t tell which reforms we would be able to get and those we would not have attained,” he said.
In July this year, Mwonzora met President Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and details of the meeting remain closely guarded by both parties.
This comes as MDC-T chairperson Morgen Komichi on Sunday said dialogue with President Mnangagwa was key to determining the party’s participation in the 2023 elections, arguing that holding elections without reforms was a waste of time.
Mwonzora’s legislators are the majority of opposition representatives in Parliament after the purging of MDC Alliance members, but Zanu-PF still commands an unassailable two-thirds majority and no legislation can pass without Zanu-PF approval.
“We want reforms and then elections. Unlike our colleagues in the opposition who are calling for an election whether or not there are reforms,” Mwonzora said.
“That government has not allowed reforms over some years is not a good enough reason to explain why we should not insist on them. We shall not give up until there are reforms which guarantee secrecy of the vote and security of both the vote and the voter.
“We will make the substantive matters available at the right time. Right now, we are consulting within the MDC-T structures then thereafter we will consult the people of Zimbabwe, based on what our structures would have said.”
Mwonzora added that sanctions against Zimbabwe imposed by the US and the European Union were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans and must be lifted forthwith.
He said the sanctions, which were imposed 20 years ago after the Robert Mugabe Government took back land from white minority farmers, had led to a collapse of public health and social services, while the intended targets were barely affected. □