To hold 2023 elections or not: Let’s go for a referendum says Mliswa #ElectionsZW
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has proposed that the country should go for a referendum to get people’s views on whether to go ahead with the 2023 general elections or postpone them.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold general elections this year between 26 July and 26 August.
However, preparations for the polls have been marred by a lot of controversies. Chief among the controversies is the delimitation process and access to the electronic voter’s roll.
Within ZEC which is the commission charged with conducting and running of elections, there are divisions among the commissioners.
Parliament’s views on the Delimitation Report were generally ignored when ZEC submitted the final report to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
This has seen the report being challenged in court, casting a shadow on whether elections will be held or not.
However, independent legislator Temba Mliswa is of the view that citizens must be consulted on the way forward.
“The prevailing issues which have resulted in Mwonzora going to court is the culpability of all those who failed to play their role and only came to life after @ZECzim delivered the final report.
”However, going forward, as I have already said in an interview with Guthrie Munyuki, a referendum could be a good idea at this moment. The country needs a referendum to hear what the people say about the whole election debate and implement that.
“People are tired of elections& they have themselves failed to bring about any substantial socio-economic change. Instead of acknowledging this reality, there has been a lot of posturing by politicians across the board. There is always the mirage that the next election is it!
”The opposition can’t campaign openly; the voter’s roll isn’t available& it’s clear from the outset that whatever results will come out will be contentious and won’t advance the country one step. The reforms which the opposition has been clamouring for have not been realized!
“The ingredients for another contentious electoral season are there and yet we are plowing full-steam ahead as if things have changed. They haven’t. It’s just that in the frenetic excitement of polls many lose their marbles and only awake after,” he said.
No one is ready for the 2023 elections
The fitness trainer-cum politician added that there is no side that is ready for elections, adding that the most that will come out of it is violence.
“As for ZANU PF it’s facing a massive bhora musango due to disgruntlement among members. It’s dicey again whether the President has improved on his 2018 result. Thus there is a general stalemate in which no side is adequately equipped/ready or set to benefit from the elections.
“The most that will come out of the elections is violence and more national tension and problems. If I were the President I would call for a referendum and seek for a middle way that incorporates everyone for the benefit of the country.
“Some have called for a National Transitional Authority. It’s a realization that elections may no longer be the answer to the Zimbabwean question. The processes of democracy are not adequate in themselves but are meant to meet specific socio-economic basics for the people.
”Once the electoral processes are failing to deliver that, then they serve no purpose, and alternative measures are needed to realign the process with national needs. Elections are not an agenda in themselves but a means towards one. They are not an answer but a path towards one,” he said.
This is not the first time that there have been calls to postpone elections in Zimbabwe. A few years ago the church also called for the same.
Some opposition parties have also joined the bandwagon calling for the postponement of the polls.
Strangely, it is only the Citizens Coalition for Change which is led by Nelson Chamisa that wants polls to go ahead, despite having its many rallies banned or disrupted.
Calls to postpone elections also come at a time when Zimbabweans are anxiously waiting for the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia Documentary Episode 4, which links Scott Sakupwanya to gold smuggling and money laundering.
To hold 2023 elections or not: Let’s go for a referendum says Mliswa