Self-exiled former ZANU PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo has withdrawn an offer to train MDC Alliance polling agents ahead of general elections scheduled for 2023.
Moyo told NewsDay that he had revoked the offer after the MDC Alliance leadership failed to state its position following allegations that the offer had divided the opposition party.
In September, Moyo offered to support MDC Alliance polling agents at all polling stations in the Tsholotsho constituency and to train 44 000 polling agents.
In an emailed response to NewsDay, Moyo revealed that he wrote to MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende on 11 October withdrawing the offer. Said Moyo:
When neither the mentioned senior MDC Alliance officials nor the party clarified the situation, on the back of growing messages on various social media platforms that were sharing the article coupled with direct messages that were asking for my position, I wrote to the MDC Alliance secretary-general (Chalton Hwende) on October 11, 2021, withdrawing my offer to train MDC Alliance polling agents in Tsholotsho and to train the party’s 44 000 polling agents for the 2023 elections, citing the party’s silence.
The MDC Alliance failed to field polling agents in several polling stations in the 2018 elections and the party had no data from a fifth of the nearly 11 000 polling stations. Added Moyo:
My offer was based on having previously trained polling agents in particular, but generally, after having been directly involved in six elections — four of them as a candidate in 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2015 — and three of them as ZANU PF’s publicity campaign manager in 2000, 2002 and 2013.
I also managed and coordinated the publicity campaign of the “Yes Vote” in the referendum of the 2000 draft constitution.
Besides this direct participation in elections, I have run seminars and given numerous lectures and written articles and two books on elections in Zimbabwe.
In a telephone interview with NewsDay, Hwende said the MDC Alliance was still considering Moyo’s offer and will reach out to him and other Zimbabweans that have offered assistance.
Moyo has warned the opposition that without trained polling agents, it was difficult to back claims of vote-rigging.