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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
test for Zec as special vote starts
The Independent (Zimbabwe)
July 12, 2013
Electoral Commission (Zec) faces a litmus test when it conducts
two-day special voting starting on Sunday across the country
ahead of crucial general elections on July 31.
Section 81A of the Electoral
Act, special voting is conducted at least 16 days before the
actual day of polling to allow people who would be on elections
duty to cast their ballot in advance.
These may include members
of the uniformed forces and election officials. Postal voting for
people working at Zimbabwe missions abroad is also done at the same
Zec said more than 80
000 applications for special voting have been processed and requisite
logistics are in order.
Zec chairperson Justice
Rita Makarau this week said of the 120 000 application forms issued
for special voting, 87 316 had been returned to Zec with the police
accounting for 69 222; Zec officials 15 954; Zimbabwe Prison Services
(ZPS) 2 000 and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) 140.
However, for the first
time in Zimbabwe’s history, members of the uniformed forces
and other security apparatus will not cast ballots at their camps,
but at 209 Zec-designated polling stations.
is conducted in a polling booth like the one set up for the general
elections and it will be supervised by Zec officials following the
same procedures,” said Makarau. “Polling stations will
be at schools and some centres, not barracks and police camps as
some of you claim.”
President Robert Mugabe
and his Zanu-PF party have in the past been blamed for manipulating
special votes for the uniformed forces to win elections.
However, Makarau this
week re-assured political parties that there would be no rigging
through the controversial special voting system, amid widespread
fears the ballots would be tampered with.
“The ballots are
transported from polling stations to the chief elections officer
and thereafter to the ward in tamper-proof envelops that will be
sealed in the presence of election agents who are entitled to sign
on the seal,” she said.
Makarau also said political
party agents are entitled to be present when the tamper-proof envelopes
Suspicions have already
been raised as Zimbabweans are questioning the number of police
officers set to vote this weekend.
Zanu-PF has been stepping
up its election campaign with the army, police and prison services
embarking on a massive recruitment drive to aid the party to win
the do-or-die polls.
Government sources told
the Zimbabwe Independent recently that secret hiring by ZNA, ZPS
and the police were underway in defiance of the Public Service Commission
freeze on recruitment.
MDC-T secretary for defence
and security Giles Mutsekwa said the recruitment drive was “suspicious”
and aimed at boosting Zanu-PF’s chances in the elections.
“This is a deliberate
attempt by Zanu-PF to recruit as many people as possible to boost
their chances of winning the next elections. What Zanu-PF is not
aware of is that those people do not support them. “Those
are desperate people seeking employment and won’t help the
dying party’s chances to win the elections,” Mutsekwa
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