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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Press statement on the voting process - 31st of July, 2013 harmonised elections
    Election Resource Centre
    July 31, 2013

    The Election Resource Centre wishes to commend the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for holding the 31st of July harmonised elections in a relatively peaceful manner.

    As millions of Zimbabwean citizens today cast their vote in the 2013 harmonised elections, unanswered questions remain as to the electoral processes in the pre-election and Election Day. While the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced their readiness to hold the election to the media yesterday, the voter’s roll was only ready for collection by political parties this afternoon. The MDC-T claimed two days ago that no political party other than Zanu-PF had access to the voter’s roll.

    Meanwhile the Election Resource Centre received mixed reports on the voting process throughout the country. Voting largely was progressing according to plan, however the following negative incidences were noted;

    • Voter’s roll discrepancies
    • Intimidation
    • Late opening of polling stations
    • Slow pace of assisting aspiring voters in some urban polling stations
    • High number of assisted voters recorded in rural areas
    • Shortage of ballot papers in some wards
    • First time voters denied the chance to vote as they were not appearing in the voter’s roll and their registration slips had missing ward details.

    There was near chaos at Zaoga Church polling station in Dzivarasekwa and Hopley polling station in Harare South constituency, Harare Province. The chaos was being fuelled by the slow pace of voting which resultantly left aspiring voters agitated. In Harare again, Glen View 3 primary school close to 300 first time voters who registered during the second mobile outreach programme were allegedly turned away as their names were not appearing on the voters roll. However, the report further indicated that some people who did not appear in the roll but had registration slips were allowed to vote.

    Meanwhile other voters who had not registered to vote or had not been allowed to vote found themselves on the voter’s roll. A citizen’s report from Crisis Coalition indicated that a couple who had not been allowed to vote due to their citizenship status as aliens in the 2008 elections were in fact on the voter’s roll in their wards. A 27-year-old young man in Mount Pleasant found his name on the voter’s roll by chance having never registered to vote. A high number of people were turned away across the country as they had attempted to vote in the wrong wards.

    A report from Muzarabani North alleged that a one Godfrey Magaya was intimidating voters through verbal threats of retribution if the voting outcome is not favourable to his party.

    In Masvingo Central, Mapanzure primary school, Chief Mapanzure refused to leave the polling station because his name was not on the voter's roll. At Gwanda Zintec and Jahunda primary, a few people could be seen casting their votes. In Kwekwe, voters were turned away for not appearing on the voter’s roll even after they produced their valid registration slips. In Goromonzi South, Ward 9, Ruvheneko 1 and 2 Polling Stations, ballot papers ran out before lunchtime effectively cutting short the process of voting.

    The Election Resource Centre is concerned with numerous reports emanating mostly from rural areas of a relatively huge number of voters who claimed to be illiterate and were assisted to vote. The long winding queues and the near chaos which was witnessed in centres like Hopley Farm, in Harare South are also a cause of concern. In conclusion, as voters continue to troop to polling stations to cast their votes, the Election Resource Centre urges the responsible authorities to intervene and facilitate the smooth voting of all registered citizens. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should ensure that all those individuals who seek to vote are allowed to exercise their vote even beyond the stipulated closing time.

    Visit the Election Resource Centre fact sheet

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