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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
31 July elections results do not reflect the will of the people
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute
August 02, 2013
In July 2013,
the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) examined
the Zimbabwe electoral processes focusing on the mobile voter registration
process and demonstrated that the process was chaotic and insufficient
to deliver credible, free and fair elections.
were vindicated by the shambolic nature of the special voting. It
was impossible from the start of the process to imagine a credible
election when basic things such as a legitimate voters' roll were
The ZDI findings
corroborates with what transpired as failure to comply with the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) standards on democratic
elections and legal requirements were evidenced by the levels of
manipulation of electoral processes and voters' roll.
rules in this election were manipulated through such issues
as who is registered to vote and how citizens voted. Voter registration
in process was biased against urban areas which are perceived opposition
strongholds. The voters' roll of 19 June provided by the Registrar
General's office proves beyond reasonable doubt that urban voters
were disenfranchised. They were denied the right to register to
vote and ultimately the right to participate in the harmonized election.
A number of
urban voters were further disadvantaged when they were turned away
from voting on the actual polling day. A number of reasons were
cited, among them, failure to identify the correct ward and that
of names not appearing in the voters' roll. On another note, allowing
people to vote using voting slips created even more problems than
what was simply anticipated. This became a loophole for a rigging
strategy, as some people were found with multiple voting slips in
A voter's roll
that is endorsed by political and civic players as well as the general
public is a critical ingredient of holding undisputed polls in Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, the voters' roll has been for quite some time, a
critical center of contestations and disputations because the electoral
authorities have privatized both the registration process and the
Up to the voting
day, people had not received the electronic voters roll which is
a key mechanism to counter rigging. As a result, it became impossible
to analyze the voters who were resident in certain areas of concern.
ZDI also observed
huge movements of people outside of Harare who voted in such areas
as Mount Pleasant and Harare East. The voters were coordinated and
organized to deliver a particular electoral outcome. What was clear
was that these people were not residents of these affluent suburbs
of Harare. It means that residents of areas especially Mount Pleasant
will not get representatives of their choices. This cannot be deemed
On the basis
of the manipulated voters' roll, the 31 July election cannot be
deemed credible, free, fair and legitimate.
of violence alone cannot be used to determine the credibility of
the poll. Other critical issues such as the administration of the
election particularly the disputed and manipulated voters' roll
ZDI since its
formation last year through its researches highlighted the need
to democratize and professionalize the secretariat of the Zimbabwe
Election Commission (ZEC) and remove partisan people with a security
In this election,
it was apparent that the security forces through the National Logistics
Committee a sub-committee of ZEC was responsible for running the
poll. While the security chiefs were not publicly involved in electoral
affairs as they did in the past, the hidden influence of the security
sector was there in the administration of the poll directly and
It was also
the observation of ZDI that opposition political parties and civic
bodies could not find answers or unlock what appeared to be organized
manipulation of the election especially when it became apparent
that ZEC was determined to keep the voters' roll a secret.
ZDI recommends that there be robust research into how this election
was administered with a view of getting all the empirical evidence
so that the coming elections are done better.
be done to reveal more data on how the election was manipulated
at the institutional level so that such infrastructure is dismantled
ahead of future polls.
ZEC should also
be revamped so that it becomes an independent electoral body that
discharges its duties impartially.
of elections including the voters roll should purely be a responsibility
of ZEC and the executive should have nothing to do with it apart
from providing resources to the election management body.
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