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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • CCDZ update on harmonised elections
    Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ)
    July 31, 2013

    Although voting in today’s harmonised elections is generally peaceful, there are a number of anomalies, which CCDZ has noted. Whilst we applaud the peaceful environment that has characterised the elections we note the following matters of grave concern:

    i. Assisted voters

    There is a worrying trend of reports of assisted voters from mostly rural and farming communities. There is huge number of voters who are requesting to be assisted to vote and are saying that they don’t have any confidant who can assist them to vote. This has resulted in a huge number of these voters being assisted by the ZEC officials and presiding officers.

    These reports have been received from multiple polling stations in Masvingo (Muroyi Polling Station and Helen Makkie polling stations), Mashonaland East (Mutoko East, Ward 14 and 15), Manicaland (Chipinge South – Takawira high school), Midlands (Gokwe North), Mashonaland West (Tengwe), Harare (Glenview primary school) and Mashonaland Central (Bradley polling station, Shamva North Constituency and Muzarabani) provinces.

    CCDZ condemns these actions in the strongest terms. These actions amount to gross abuse of the right to vote through a provision aimed at protecting the right to vote of vulnerable and marginalised groups.

    ii. Confusion over ward based voting

    There was confusion over ward based voting as most prospective voters turned up to vote at polling stations that are outside their wards. This was due to the failure of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to make the voters roll accessible to all Zimbabweans in both electronic and print format ahead of today’s harmonised elections in accordance with Section 20 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) and the SADC Guidelines. ZEC’s failure to timeously avail and publicise the voter’s roll has resulted in confusion and the failure of people to exercise their right to vote.

    CCDZ has verified reports of many people who registered to vote before the stipulated mobile voter registration cut off date of 10 of July 2013 and have not been able to vote as a result of failure to appear on the voters roll in Masvingo (Zaka North), Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland East provinces despite being in possession of valid voter registration slips. Similar reports have been verified by partner organisations in other provinces, including Harare. Voters have been referred to the nearest command centre for ‘verification’ where they are subsequently turned away whilst others have been labelled aliens and others have reportedly appeared on the Voters Roll in different constituencies to those that they belong to.

    iii. Intimidation of voters – Zanu-PF bases to coordinate voting process

    CCDZ has observed the presence of political party activists/supporters within 300m of polling stations in Ward 10 in Chiweshe, Atwick primary school in Chegutu, Muzarabani and Murewa who have been stationed at the polling station, telling people how to vote and recording the names of those who have voted. Similar reports have been received from Ward 5 in Gutu West Constituency in Masvingo where Headman Kudakwashe Manjengwa is allegedly writing down the names of people who have voted outside the polling station. This report has been verified by multiple sources.

    A report has also been made by observers on the ground of a Zanu-PF base that has been established in Murehwa North Constituency where names of those who have voted are also being recorded. This base is in Ward 16 and is manned by Zanu-PF activists- Robert Muzhaidzwa and Christopher Tanyanyiwa.

    iv. Bloc voting

    In the majority of the rural and farming constituencies, there is evidence of bloc voting whereby people are turning out in their numbers to cast their votes. CCDZ has observed high levels of bloc voting in Ward 17 in Zvimba North; and ward 16 in Murewa; where farm workers and other voters have been bused to their polling stations and are being assisted with food and transport by their political parties and candidates. Farm workers in Ward 17, Zvimba North have been instructed that they will vote at a specific polling station in the presence of the cell chairman.

    v. The conduct of police officers

    At most polling stations visited, police officers are interfering with the voting process. Most police officers were observed controlling the queues as well as giving instructions inside polling stations contrary to Electoral rules and regulations.

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