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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Unmasking unethical electoral practices
    Youth of Zimbabwe for Transparency and Progress
    August 06, 2013

    The Youth of Zimbabwe for Transparency and Progress is deeply worried by massive irregularities that marred the recently held disputable elections between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change. It is unfortunate that though the elections seemed relatively peaceful, there were worrying concerns over apparent voter intimidation, coercion, victimisation, voter migration among other tactics in areas such as Mberengwa, Rushinga, Bikita, Buhera, Muzarabani, Centenery, Mt Darwin, Mvurwi and Mutasa Central.

    In Mberengwa East underage students were forced to vote equipped with fake registration slips. The same scenario prevailed in Bikita South where grade 7 and form 2 students were reportedly forced to vote entirely against electoral laws and conduct. In Mutasa Central, Innocent Dambudzo Benza, a Herentals boss and Zanu-PF aspiring candidate, bussed in thousands of workers and students to vote for him, after successfully registering them in this constituency. It is worrying that workers and students were exposed to untold intimidation, victimisation and coercion to vote for a candidate entirely against their wish.

    In Rushinga,Mt Darwin, Centinary many youths were declared assisted voters either on unfounded grounds of being illiterate or blind if suspected to be an MDC supporter. In most parts of Mashonaland Central, the Midlands, Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces, the notorious’ Sabuku nevanhu vake’(meaning people had to vote in lines controlled and managed by their village heads who knew them best),were invoked. This threatened people’s freedom. It is worrying to note that most of these cases were reported long before elections to JOMIC, ZEC and other players but very little was done to address the anomaly.

    This is a worrying development which remains a threat to democracy and the legitimacy of such a process will remain highly compromised exposing Zimbabwe to continued suffering of the majority due to isolation of the country from the international world. It is a flawed democracy whose effects will be heavy if not urgently addressed. We urge local players, regional, continental and the international community to seriously address the Zimbabwean electoral crisis to avoid an outright and irreparable human disaster.

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