By A Correspondent| The opposition MDC Alliance has accused the ruling Zanu PF party of closing the democratic space through enactment of draconian legislations in preparation of the 2023 elections.
MDC Alliance Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere said human rights abuses and arbitrary arrests of its activists and pro-democracy campaigners were on the increase in what points to President Emmerson Mnangagwa move to consolidate power by any means necessary.
“The regime is in pre-election panic mode as it seeks to introduce a patriotic bill to legislate against free speech, free conscience and to uphold the conduct of demanding a better society,” said Mahere.
“Citizens have not been spared from the early facts of the poorly managed economy, despite the regime’s propaganda and attempt to paint a false picture of economic improvement. People’s livelihoods remain in constant threat with teachers, doctors and other civil servants earning slave wages.”
Mahere said jailed or formerly imprisoned activists including Obey Sithole, Joanna Mamombe, and Allan Moyo, were victims of the “weaponization of the bail application process to ensure that citizens are unjustly incarcerated.”
The government’s reintroduction of the National Youth Service (NYS), a notorious programme known for churning out violent youth militia was “designed to entrench fear and cause violence ahead of the elections,” Mahere added.
Mahere also slammed the recent constitutional amendments saying they were engineered “to entrench dictatorship and to concentrate power in the hands of one individual.”
Speaking at the same conference, party election officer Ian Makone said the MDC Alliance was pushing for electoral reforms on two fronts.
“There are those that require changes in legislation, and in particular the alignment of the Electoral Act to our constitution. On several occasions, we have made reference to it and it was like knocking against a brick wall,” he told journalists.
“I sincerely hope this time with the combined voices from all discerning citizens that change will happen, we have done it before and the result is we got a constitution authored by Zimbabweans which they are trying to decimate.”
The second approach, Makone said, “concerns activities that are within the purview by the law of ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] themselves.”