Zimbabwe Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo yesterday described MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a “mad” person, who was parading his “illiteracy” on government work by claiming that Zanu PF was conducting a parallel voter registration exercise in Marange.
Tsvangirai on Wednesday accused Zanu PF of carrying out a clandestine voter registration exercise in Marange involving Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede’s office ahead of the 2018 general elections.
But Chombo hit back, describing Tsvangirai as mad and illiterate of government work in making those “unsubstantiated and fallacious accusations”.
He said his ministry, through the RG, had been invited by the Marange church to conduct a massive identity registration exercise and was not registering voters, as this was the responsibility of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“Tsvangirai is exposing his madness. He must go and campaign than waste time saying elections have been rigged,” Chombo said.
“What happened here is that we were invited by the Johanne Marange Church to their church meeting to conduct a national ID registration programme and issue birth certificates to these people.
“This shows that Tsvangirai does not know what he is saying. I thought having been Prime Minister for five years, he should know that for people to be registered as voters, they need national IDs and birth certificates, and that is all we are doing.
“These lies and mischievous statements by the opposition are only aimed at tarnishing our electoral processes, but will not yield votes for them. Zanu PF wins because it is loved by the people.”
MDC-T on Wednesday alleged it had evidence that officials from the RG’s Office had left Harare for Mutare, where they were issuing birth certificates and identity documents to the Johanne Marange sect members and were conducting a parallel voter registration exercise.
But MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu shot back at Chombo, saying the Zanu PF secretary for administration’s defence of the rigging allegations should be dismissed.
“What do you expect from the most corrupt minister in the Zanu PF regime? He is uttering nonsense,” he said.
“We have it on good record that the process they are undertaking there in Marange is part of the rigging process.
“Chombo is just trying to save face. He must first deal with issue of the Registrar-General, who is over 80.
“Why is he keeping him on the job? It is because they want to use him to rig elections, as he has been a vital cog in the Zanu PF rigging machinery.”
Haggling between President Robert Mugabe’s party and opposition parties has escalated with the 2018 elections drawing near, with opposition parties taking to the streets under the banner of National Electoral Reform Agenda to protest for electoral reforms, accusing the veteran leader of plotting to rig the elections.
The soon-to-be rolled out biometric voter registration exercise is the latest political battleground.