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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Crisis Report Issue 200
in Zimbabwe Coalition
July 16, 2013
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Vote chaos dents 2013 election
voting for members of the security forces, which began on Sunday,
July 14 and ended on Monday, 15 July 2013, has been described as
chaotic by observers amid logistical inefficiencies.
Reports coming from many
parts of the country on Sunday, July 14, indicated that the first
day of the special voting had been marred by slowness of the process,
insufficient ballot papers, late opening of the polling stations
and even failure of some polling stations to open.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
(CiZC) spokesperson Thabani Nyoni said the confusion could show
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s lack of preparation.
“The way ZEC has conducted the special voting so far has convinced
even the doubting Thomases that delivering a credible election to
the people of Zimbabwe will be a miracle.”
“The people of
Zimbabwe deserve a full explanation before an apology,” Nyoni
Nyoni cited late opening
of voting centres, absence of a printed copy of the voters’
roll, no ink, and no ballot paper as a sign that ZEC might have
been misleading Zimbabweans about its state of preparedness.
Voting reportedly failed
to take place in Umguza on July 14 as ballot papers are reported
to have arrived around 1500hrs while in some places the papers did
Police officers were
still waiting for the ballot papers at Mt. Selinda High in Chipinge
and St Columbus High School in Mutasa North well after 10.00 am
on the second day of voting on July 15 which could have been some
of the extreme cases.
An estimated 69 000 police
officers, 2000 prison officers, 164 soldiers and ZEC officials have
reportedly applied to vote in the special voting exercise which
is set aside for those civil servants who will not be able to vote
on July 31 due to work commitments such as ensuring peace and security
during the harmonized elections.
The security forces who
ostensibly applied for the special voting are believed to be more
than the entire force, raising questions from analysts whether it
is true that all police officers are registered voters and whether
the number is realistic.
The actual police compliment
of Zimbabwe as per the civil servants salary schedule is pegged
at 41 133 according to Hon. Tendai Biti who presides over the Ministry
Zimbabwe Republic Police
(ZRP) Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba reportedly
defended the numbers arguing the force had been swelled by inclusion
of the police constabulary, which is a reserve force.
Agenda Trust (YAT) criticized the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) for the way it handled the special voting exercise, alleging
that police details in some areas were being coerced to write down
the serial numbers of their ballot papers for inspection by their
“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.”
“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,” the youth organisation said.
a political scientist said that he believed the bungling by ZEC
was a deliberate ploy, querying why a Commission, which was not
sufficiently prepared for elections, insisted they were prepared.
creates a shambolic election, in the event of a Zanu-PF defeat it
will create grounds of contesting the outcome. Given the politicized
nature of the judiciary such a court challenge will provide plan
B for Zanu-PF to impede the transition to democracy in Zimbabwe,”
said Chirimambowa, adding the Electoral
Act has already been violated by the delays caused by late arrival
of ballot papers.
Election Support Network (ZESN) said its observers had noted
that at Dangababi Primary School in Bubi District Matabeleland North
voting commenced at 1500 hours, while at Fatima High School in Lupane
District and Bubi Tatazela Hall the ballot papers only arrived after
14.00 hrs on July 14.
ZESN also complained
in a statement that Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) had not kept
the nation abreast on how many people registered in the last phase
of mobile voter registration which ended on July 9.
ZEC gave updates
on how many people it had registered in the earlier phase carried
out in May. ZESN bemoaned the low number of young people on the
Zimbabwean voters’ roll as per June 19 as compared to other
countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.
“ZESN is also very
concerned about the distribution of polling stations released on
10 July as compared to the official registration figures from 19
(75 of 394) of urban wards have more than 1,000 voters per polling.
Of particular note, Epworth Local Board Ward 7 has 7,920 registered
voters, but only one polling station.”
Referendum voters will be required to vote in the ward in which
they are registered,” the organization said, emphasizing its
forecast that there could be congestion on the polling stations
in urban areas.
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