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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Youth Agenda Trust statement on special voting
    Youth Agenda Trust
    July 15, 2013

    Youth Agenda Trust has noted with disgust the manner in which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has botched the special voting which started on Sunday. The confusion, chaos, intimidation and violence that we saw across the country only shows that ZEC is not only ill-prepared, but is not competent to handle a national election.

    YAT has received reports that some polling officers were policemen in civilian attire, that some senior police officers were intimidating their juniors and that some of them were asked to write down serial numbers of their ballot papers.

    YAT is also disturbed to note that ZEC was not even able to open polling stations on time, provide enough voting material and was seriously understaffed.

    As Youth Agenda, we feel that the chaos that we saw was stage managed and deliberately created to manipulate the outcome of the elections. We also maintain that ZEC is not able to conduct a credible election which can usher in a people's government and that it is not prepared for this election.

    YAT is also now convinced that information circulating in the media that ZEC and the Registrar General's office are working with a shadowy Israeli organisation to rig the July 31 elections is true and that the two government entities are not willing to conduct a free and fair election.

    YAT therefore demands that:

    1. The ZEC board resign immediately and pave way for the appointment of credible office bearers who are willing to work for the people.
    2. ZEC bring back the names of over one million people it has deleted on the voter's roll.
    3. The election slated for July 31 be moved to a later date to allow ZEC to put its house in order.
    4. The Israeli company operating as the de-facto RG's office be booted out of the country immediately.
    5. The special voting be stopped and moved to a later date to allow for order to return to ZEC.
    6. ZEC accounts for all the ballots it has printed for the special vote.
    7. ZEC conducts its business in a professional manner that does not prejudice the electorate.

    Youths promised long and short sleeves

    Magunje: Youths here have been promised violence by Zanu-PF leaders who have told them that they will be amputated, the short and long sleeve style reminiscent of the 2008 polls if they fail to get president Robert Mugabe back into office on 31 July.

    The youths say that villagers are living in fear whenever memories of the 2008 atrocities flood their minds. They say that they are being force marched to attend Zanu PF meetings and rallies where they are being threatened and told that if they resist, they will come after them once the election is over.

    Speaking at a Play Your Vote Sports tournament that was held at Zvipani growth point in Magunje, the youths appealed for international observers and civil society to come up with community protection mechanisms that protects the villagers from unscrupulous politicians. Addressing the youths, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Right's Jeremiah Bamu urged the youths to prioritise their security and not to cowed into submission by the threats as it was the party's tactic to manipulate the election.

    "There is really no legal basis for the use of violence to force people to support certain political parties. It is your democratic right to participate in national processes such as elections, therefore there is no need for you to be afraid," Bamu said. YAT programmes manager Lawrence Mashungu scoffed at the threats and urged the youths to be vigilant and shun all forms of violence.

    Visit the Youth Agenda Trust fact sheet

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