Leaders of political parties here present
Invited Guests and members of the press
Good afternoon everyone.
As leaders of various political parties under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) we welcome you to this press conference.
Firstly, our gathering here to issue a joint statement as leaders of different political parties is a cause for national celebration. This is because Zimbabweans for a long time have been crying for political parties to speak with one voice. Our gathering here confirms that this is slowly becoming a reality. We remain in discussion with our colleagues in the broader democratic movement and even if you do not see some of the leaders here, do not be disheartened because we have a continuous conversation that is taking place for all of us to work together ahead of the next watershed election in 2018.
We have called this press conference to announce that tomorrow’s march to press for comprehensive electoral reforms is going ahead as planned. As political parties, we call upon the people of Zimbabwe to come out in their numbers so that we make a loud national expression to demand comprehensive electoral reforms that will ensure that we move away from the culture of contested electoral outcomes.
During our march tomorrow, we will hand over a petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the procession will culminate in an address to the people by the leaders of the political parties.
As political parties, we have realized that at the centre of the current national crisis is the crisis of legitimacy. We are not only demanding the implementation of electoral reforms, but also the announcement of a clear roadmap to the next election by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission----a roadmap complete with processes and timeframes.
We are calling on Zimbabweans to come out in their numbers tomorrow in support of this legitimate cause of demanding a truly free and fair election. We are also calling on SADC, specifically the current chair of SADC, to remain seized with the issue of Zimbabwe and to ensure that the electoral field in this country is leveled ahead of the next election. SADC must remain seized with the issue of Zimbabwe where the current unraveling economic crisis is just but a mirror of the underlying political crisis of legitimacy.
As political parties, we have complied with the law in that we have notified the police of our peaceful march tomorrow.
To the people of Zimbabwe, we say come in your numbers for the sake of the country that we all love.
I thank you.
Mr. Didymus N. E. Mutasa
For and on behalf of the political leaders of NERA