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Will Zim security forces get second chance to vote
Jackson, SW Radio Africa
July 18, 2013
View this article
on the SW Radio Africa website
Just when you
thought the Special Voting couldn’t get more confusing –
AFP reported Thursday that security personnel, who had been unable
to cast their vote during the chaotic Special Voting, would get
chance and be allowed to vote on 31st July.
AFP quoted the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions chief Rita Makarau, assuring them
that they “will be able to vote” with the rest of the
As this early
voting is specifically for administrators, police and soldiers who
will be on duty on voting day, it is unclear how this would be facilitated.
But the complete
opposite of the AFP news report was the headline in Newsday on Thursday
– Cops, soldiers won’t vote on July 31.
The paper reports
that the thousands of civil servants and uniformed forces who had
not managed to vote will not be able to do so on July 31st as “the
law does not give them that alternative.”
81B:2 of the Electoral
Act the paper says: “A voter who has been authorised to
cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any other manner
than by casting a special vote in terms of this Part.”
Electoral Commission is mandated to abide by the electoral laws,
so their assurances that voting will go ahead is unlawful.
legal expert Chris Mhike who said: “At law, it is not permissible
for the people who were supposed to cast their votes through the
special ballot to vote again on July 31. If they were allowed to
do so, it would make room for manipulation of votes either by way
of a voter voting twice or fidgeting with the figures because the
system is not properly controlled.”
Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed this to Newsday: “I
am not sure which section of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act Zec is relying
on. According to the Electoral Act, once a person has been approved
for the special vote, he is automatically struck off the voters’
roll. In terms of the law, once an individual has been issued authorisation
to cast a special vote, that person, by operation of Section 81D
subsection 3 of the Electoral Act, has to have his name removed
from the voters’ roll and his name will have a line drawn
across it and it will be inscribed SV (special vote).”
individual authorised to vote under the special vote has his name
struck off the voters’ roll with a line that goes through
it. They will then inscribe SV on the name. That means that person
cannot vote under the normal voting procedure and this is done to
avoid double voting.”
get any easier for Newsday in following up this story with ZEC.
The paper contacted ZEC’s public relations director, Shupikai
Mashereni, asking for clarification. Mashereni asked for questions
in writing, which were sent.
said he had sent the questions to ZEC’s chief elections officer,
Lovemore Sekeramayi, and that there would be a response in an hour.
At the end of
that hour Mashereni told the Newsday reporter to call ZEC’s
deputy PR officer Tendai Pamire. But Pamire denied having received
the questions from Mashereni and asked for the questions to be resent.
called Mashereni and told him Pamire denied receiving the questions.
the questions had indeed been received, but they needed a lot of
So, the Special
Voting chaos continues and every day it becomes clear that Zimbabwe’s
Electoral Commission is not up to the task of running the election
on July 31st.
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