In a startling revelation that has sent shockwaves through Zimbabwe’s political landscape, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) finds itself entangled in a web of deceit and constitutional violations. The recent withdrawal of smaller opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora from the presidential race has inadvertently exposed ZEC’s thinly-disguised lie regarding the printing of presidential election ballot papers.

ZEC, the body responsible for overseeing the electoral process, has come under intense scrutiny for its alleged violations of the constitution and electoral laws as it manages preparations for the upcoming 23 August polls. The withdrawal of Mwonzora, a significant political figure, has unveiled the true nature of ZEC’s actions.

The commission’s swift response to Mwonzora’s withdrawal raised eyebrows, as it was not driven by a commitment to uphold the law and adhere to electoral rules, but rather a desperate attempt to conceal its illegal activities. ZEC claimed that it was too late for Mwonzora to withdraw from the election because the ballot papers had already been printed. This admission has sparked outrage and legal challenges.

Independent presidential election candidate Saviour Kasukuwere has joined the fray by confronting ZEC over the issue, alleging that the commission printed the ballots before his case of being removed from the election had been resolved, a clear violation of the constitution. The urgency and seriousness of these allegations cannot be understated, as they strike at the heart of the democratic process in Zimbabwe.

One of the central dilemmas arising from Mwonzora’s withdrawal is the potential necessity for ZEC to reprint the ballot papers without his name. This poses significant challenges, both in terms of cost and adherence to the election timelines. With only 15 days remaining before polling day, any delay or disruption in the printing process could have serious implications for the electoral schedule.

In light of these practical considerations, ZEC has found it convenient to argue against Mwonzora’s withdrawal on legal grounds. According to electoral law, a candidate cannot withdraw 21 days before the elections. ZEC insists on Mwonzora’s continued participation in the elections, ostensibly to avoid the logistical complexities and costs associated with ballot paper reprinting. However, many view this stance as a deliberate attempt to safeguard its own interests and cover up its lies and illegal activities.

The credibility and transparency of the upcoming elections are now hanging in the balance as these allegations cast a shadow over ZEC’s actions. The commission’s handling of the situation and its compliance with constitutional and legal provisions will be closely monitored by both domestic and international observers.

Zimbabweans deserve a free and fair electoral process that upholds the rule of law and respects the rights of all candidates. The allegations surrounding ZEC’s conduct must be thoroughly investigated, and any violations of the constitution or electoral laws should be addressed swiftly and decisively.

As the nation approaches the pivotal 23 August polls, it is essential that Zimbabweans can have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process. The revelations surrounding ZEC’s actions serve as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency, accountability, and adherence to the rule of law in safeguarding the democratic principles that underpin the nation’s future.

In this critical moment, all eyes are on ZEC to ensure that the electoral process proceeds with the utmost fairness and in accordance with the constitution, reestablishing trust in the democratic foundations of Zimbabwe.

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