By Daniel Chigundu
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is heavily compromised and cannot deliver free and fair elections because its chairperson Justice Rita Makarau is a known Zanu PF member.
Makarau is a former Zanu PF non-constituency Member of Parliament (MP) appointed specifically by President Robert Mugabe in 1996 and is also secretary of the Judiciary Services Commission a board responsible for appointing judges to hear cases, including electoral cases.
Speaking during a policy dialogue meeting organised by the Election Resources Centre, Mwonzora said ZEC is a captured institution advancing the interests of Zanu PF.
“We are saying ZEC is captured, its chairperson Rita Makarau is in herself a former Zanu PF non-constituency MP appointed by Mugabe and that is why she has been making favourable decisions in favour of Zanu PF.
“She did not see any wrong when candidates were being beaten and intimidated in the Bikita West by-election, or when the people were being given housing stands in a classic case of vote-buying in Norton by-election.
“Makarau didn’t do anything or say anything about these intimidations in the by-elections I mentioned, so if ZEC quakes like a duck and swims like a duck, then it’s a duck, ZEC is Zanu PF,” he said.
Opposition parties under the banner of NERA are calling for the disbanding of the entire ZEC secretariat arguing that it is heavily infested with military personnel and CIO operatives.
Speaking at the same occasion Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) President Elton Mangoma said he has evidence to prove there are CIOs within ZEC and when push comes to shove he will expose it.
“I can prove that there are CIOs working within ZEC secretariat, actually I have a distant relative who is a CIO but is working at ZEC and when the time comes I will reveal their identity,” said RDZ leader.
Despite these revelations and chronic allegations ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau maintains that she is not compromised and that the moment she becomes compromised she will resign on her own.
Makarau also told the media that those allegations claiming there are CIOS and military personnel working within ZEC are false and a misrepresentation meant to discredit the elections board.
“Let me make this clear, the truth of the matter is that we have ex-military personnel working in the secretariat, they are no longer in the military but are now ZEC employees.
“So it’s not true that there is military personnel deployed to work in the secretariat,” she said.