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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Crisis Report - Issue 212
in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 16, 2013
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standards below par
of opposition political parties and civil society who addressed
the public debate in Harare on Thursday, August 15, on the just
ended elections said the electoral standards in Zimbabwe had deteriorated,
arguing that the recent
July 31 election was worse than the March
the director of Election
Resource Centre (ERC), Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson of
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by out going Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and Edwin Mushoriwa, the Vice-President
of the MDC led by Prof. Welshman Ncube said the March 2008 had been
relatively free and fair. The trio submitted that by comparison,
the 2013 harmonized elections were not violent but unfair while
the June 2008 Presidential run-off was violent and extremely not
view the March 2008 election was far much better than the 2013 election,”
Mushoriwa said, explaining that apart from the fact that people
campaigned and voted freely, political parties were given the voters’
roll in time to analyze it in March 2008.
are things that made the 2013 election a circus. Up to the Election
Day as political parties we were not aware of what sort of voters’
roll we would use.
the question, have we gone forward our view is that we have backslidden,”
to the fact that Section 155 of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe describes a legal Zimbabwe election to be one which
is “peaceful, free and fair” and anything short of that
was unacceptable and subverted people’s will. He went to state
that Electoral observers from the African Union (AU) and Southern
African Development Community (SADC) had not okayed the Zimbabwe
July 31 election since it was fraught with irregularities that infringed
never met SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
There are nine guidelines and Zimbabwe violated five,” Mwonzora
some of the violations, Mwonzora raised the issue of biased media
coverage saying, “I actually went to ZBC to correct an MDC
advert” because he felt that the electoral campaign advert
had been sabotaged by the State broadcaster, in contravention of
the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral
Act and the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic
made by Mwonzora were corroborated by regional election observers
in their preliminary reports where they point out that the Zimbabwe
broadcasting Corporation was biased during the election campaign.
“Right up until the 30th of July, most of the political parties
that contested this election did not even have a voters’ roll.
Clearly, as civil society we have backslidden,” Chimhini said.
“In other Southern African countries a voters’ roll
is not a secret document”.
The ERC Director
said the mobile voter registration was slow and left out more than
500 000 prospective voters, mainly in Harare.
Zanu-PF legislator for Chivi Central, Paul Mangwana dismissed the
inaccessibility of the voters roll as a basis to dispute the elections.
I voted. I was not on the voters’ roll. The election was internationally
accepted,” said Mangwana who maintained that the voters’
roll could not affect the credibility of an election even if contesting
parties were not granted their constitutional right to see it by
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
with Mangwana on the value of having an accessible voters roll arguing
that the absence of the voters’ roll was a deliberate ploy
to benefit the interests of one political party and constituted
a major electoral flaw in the 2013 plebiscite.
He said that
Zanu-PF connived and benefited from the underhand dealings to salvage
the legacy of President Robert Mugabe after his humiliation in March
is that Zanu-PF rigged the elections. They wanted to make sure that
Mugabe’s legacy remains intact,” Mushoriwa said.
he did not know that an Israeli company called Nikuv had been contracted
to prepare the voters’ roll and rig the 2013 elections adding
that these allegations were made by the opposition parties in Zimbabwe,
Mail & Guardian newspaper and an independent investigative company,
Nasini, from South Africa.
of allegations were mentioned in respect to the voters’ roll.
Unfortunately, there has been limited information in respect to
the voters’ roll,” said Chimhini who said the inaccessibility
of the voters roll made the process less transparent.
his party would take a dossier to the SADC Summit in Malawi to prove
his party’s rigging allegations, adding that Zimbabwean elections
should not be allowed to be of a lower standard than what the regional
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