AS the election fever reaches final stretch, The Financial Gazette spoke to Alex Magaisa (AM), a senior advisor in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office about his party’s chances of winning the election. Below are excerpts of the interview.
RN: How have the MDC-T’s campaign rallies progressed so far?
AM: They have been fantastic; there has just been extremely positive responses from the people of Zimbabwe. We are very humbled from the support that we have been receiving, even in areas where in the last 2008 elections were deemed to be no-go areas. Clearly, the absence of violence has been a major factor and we hope that peace holds until July 31, so that the people can cast their vote without any fear or intimidation.RN: There are indications reported elsewhere that suggest the polls could be rigged, what mechanisms are in place from the MDC-T to prevent that from happening?
AM: The only viable mechanism to counter rigging attempts is to overwhelm the system. There is no mechanism of rigging that can overwhelm the people’s vote. If the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is going to perform in the same way as the special vote, then there will be a problem. We saw that in the special vote, the voting process was slow, conducted inefficiently so as to prevent people from voting. All this was meant to frustrate people. We urge ZEC to be transparent, they must provide details on the location of the printing of ballot papers, who is printing and how many are being used. We are disappointed that all this information is not available; it raises concern about the credibility of the ZEC.
RN: Has four years of the unity government exposed deficiencies in the MDC-T and left a perception of PM Tsvangirai as an erratic leader?
AM: It is incorrect that the MDC-T has been found wanting. This country was brought to the ground by the disastrous policies of ZANU-PF. The only variable is that PM Tsvangirai stuck to the unity government for the people of Zimbabwe.
We have dealt decisively with corruption, by firing those people linked to corruption. We take action and ZANU-PF does not do anything like that. The MDC-T has a plan for running the country and that is the basis of everything we do, we have the jobs upliftment programme, among other economic programmes. We are not concerned about personality issues which have nothing to do with the running of the country.
RN: A missing voice in the election campaign trail is Roy Bennett, what role is he playing in whipping up support for the MDC-T?
AM: We don’t all have to be singing and shouting from the front, some are in the background and supporting the party. The party’s key leadership is on the campaign trail. Bennett, our treasurer-general is not in the papers and on television as was the case in 2008, because he is not in the country at the moment. RN: Should the outcome of the July 31 election be contested, what will the MDC-T do?
AM: The MDC-T is going to win, we are not thinking of any other possibility. The only way for us to lose is only if someone steals the poll. The people are coming out in numbers to support the party and we are confident that the vote of the people will be respected and usher in a new government.
Powered by WPeMatico