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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Blaming MDC-T for special vote chaos misplaced
    Moses Matenga, NewsDay
    July 17, 2013

    The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has been accused of being partisan by seeking to blame the chaos that characterised the two-day special voting process, which ended on Monday, on the MDC-T party.

    Analysts told NewsDay yesterday that the statement by the police was “out of order” and exposed their partisanship, adding that the obtaining situation pointed to a disputed poll.

    National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba on Monday blamed the failure by thousands of police officers and other civil servants to vote on “frivolous court applications” by the MDC-T.

    Thousands of people, including police officers, who should have cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday, failed to do so because, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), voting material, particularly ballot papers, had not been distributed to the voting centres on time.

    The situation resulted in chaotic scenes at polling centres around the country, including Town House in Harare, where anti-riot police squads had to be called to restore order as frustrated police officers had become riotous.

    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director McDonald Lewanika blamed the chaos on the decision by authorities to stampede the country into an election without proper planning and preparation.

    He said it was not too late to stop the July 31 elections to avoid a “sham election” that was bound to embarrass the country.

    “It’s just an unfortunate witch-hunt. People can’t be stopped from going to court and you can’t use that to explain the unpreparedness of Zec. They should admit that they were not prepared,” said Lewanika.

    “It’s not too late to stop the process and we should make a choice on whether we want an election for the sake of it or we need a credible election. What is happening now is pointing to a chaotic election, a disputed election and another sham election.”

    Madock Chivasa, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesperson, said the police should not lay blame on the MDC-T as the organisers of the elections were at fault.

    “The confusion can only be blamed on the organisers of elections.

    The police must desist from pointing fingers at political parties.

    It compromises their neutrality as a force,” Chivasa said.

    “They must not be seen to undermine their role by echoing sentiments that suggest that they are against MDC-T.”

    NCA leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku also said there was nothing wrong with the MDC-T court application and described the comments by Charamba as “irresponsible”.

    “The blame lies with the Zec system and the police are unfair to blame the MDC-T,” said Madhuku.

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