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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Statement on the special voting exercise & ZEC's readiness to
deliver a free and fair election on July 31
in Zimbabwe Coalition
July 18, 2013
The Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) would like to add its voice to the growing
crescendo of electoral stakeholders expressing grave concerns and
disapproval of the shambolic, tragic and shameful way in which the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) conducted the just ended Special
Voting Exercise on 14, 15 and 16 July 2013.
and opaque manner
in which the Special Voting was conducted has shown beyond refutation
that the Elections Management body is yet to fully prepare to conduct
peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe.
ZEC’s performance has begged the question - if they cannot
be faithful over little (80 000 special voters) how can they be
faithful over much (a Harmonized
Election with an excess of over 6 million eligible voters)?
As part of the electoral process, the bungling that was witnessed
during the special voting process has got serious ramifications
on the integrity of ZEC as the administering body and on the election
The noted discrepancies
and apparent ill preparedness noticed during the special voting
process calls for serious and honest reflections by ZEC and the
people of Zimbabwe on the veracity of claims made by ZEC they are
ready to conduct elections. Conditions in the country already show
that the nation is being marshaled to an election without choice
and under conditions that are not conducive to the conduct of peaceful,
free, fair and credible elections.
Of serious concern,
amongst other issues, to the Coalition were the following observations:
- The inordinate
delays in the provision of essential voting materials such as
ballot papers, ink and ballot boxes at most voting centers during
the period earmarked for special voting., which led to ‘special
voters’ being subjected to long waits, fatigue, and long
on good authority, that some security forces were made to write
down their ballot paper serial numbers for their senior’s
prying eyes, infringing on the sacrosanct principle of free choice
and secrecy of the vote as well as insulation and security of
- The disenfranchisement
of some members of the Police, the army and other special voters,
whose authorizations were either misplaced or not found amidst
the ZEC administered chaos.
by ZEC officials in their handling and addressing of political
actors competing in this election, as exemplified by sentiments
by ZEC Vice Chairperson Kazembe, who put the blame of the chaos,
confusion and bungling on the MDCs, instead of owning up and apologizing.
Leaving many wondering whether she is an Independent Commissioner
or a Political party Commissar.
Even more unacceptable
is the fact that the electoral Commission did not maturely pick
themselves up, apologize to the nation and professionally dust their
The Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition, among other Civil Society groups, at the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Maputo
on June 15 warned that there was need for more time and better preparation
for the 2013 harmonized elections. Since the proclamation of the
Election day, there has been ample evidence that ZEC and the country
are clearly not ready to stage a peaceful, free, fair and credible
election. Amongst the telling signs have been the following, which
are not conclusive:
- The partisan
nature that state broadcaster and newspapers continue to carry
out their work with no sanctions and action by ZEC as it is constitutionally
mandated to do.
- The fact
that ZEC, save for the deceit of publicly calling for written
applications, also employed delaying tactics to accrediting civil
society organizations for voter education and observation until
the mobile voter registration process lapsed on July 9, making
the issue of our exclusion a fait accompli.
- The exclusionary
nature of the voter registration exercise which left thousands
of Zimbabweans who were willing to register stranded without recourse
after ZEC refused to extend the registration period in spite of
the fact that the constitution allows it to, but more importantly
to uphold the principle of inclusion and allowing everyone who
wants to participate to do so.
- The continued
opaqueness around the availability and sourcing of funds to run
- The disputes
around the timing and legal framework and pre-requisites for the
- The clear
and accurate assessment by the facilitator and SADC on the state
of readiness of Zimbabwe to conduct elections and the minimum
reforms that are required to do so with some credibility.
- The consistent
calls for reforms and a salubrious environment by CSO’s.
Elections Commission is carrying the expectations and hopes of millions
of Zimbabweans, some of whom are beginning to think that ZEC’s
shambolic display may be for deceitful reasons, which remain mysterious
and are not for the good of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
cannot avoid concluding that the ZEC, despite its deliberate assertions
to the contrary, is not ready to conduct a credible election, and
circumstances have set it up for a calamitous and torrid time as
the obvious result of the above stated shortcomings have began to
rob the electoral process of its credibility risking another sham
election on July 31.
has observed that the above is at variance and in contravention
of both the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and the aspirations and expectations of Zimbabwean as
espoused in the Feya Feya Principles drafted and adopted by over
83 organisations in Bulawayo on June 27 2013.
A judgment of
the electoral processes so far, measured against the the Feya Feya
Campaign’s principals, makes the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
pronounce, with a tortured heart, that part of the tenets have been
flagrantly violated, some possibly beyond redress.
specifically refers to Feya Feya Principle 1 demanding ZEC neutrality,
Feya Feya Principle 6 that ZEC should generally act with honesty
and integrity, Feya Feya Principle 5 that voting should be done
in secrecy, as well as Feya Feya Principle 10 that all eligible
Zimbabweans must be allowed to vote.
The Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition continues to insist on Feya Feya Principle 2
for fair media coverage of candidates and contesting parties by
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Zimpapers, Feya
Feya Principles 7 that demands security sector neutrality and Feya
Feya Principle 11 that regional actors and solidarity partners should
not encourage Zimbabwe to compromise on international standards
and best practices on democratic elections.
The Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition commits to the attention of the SADC and African
Union (AU) peoples as represented by the two blocs’ Observer
Missions, the unfolding drama in Zimbabwe and asks for their urgent
action as guarantors to encourage immediate remedial action without
foreclosing the possibility of postponing the July 31 election as
a solution. Based on current form, July 31 is clearly a disaster
waiting to happen, denting the credibility of Zimbabwe, SADC, the
African Union and the principle of African Solutions to African
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
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