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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
ZESN observes 2013 harmonised elections
Election Support Network
July 31, 2013
Election Support Network (ZESN) is observing the
2013 harmonized elections in a calm and peaceful environment.
Most polling stations opened on time with adequate voting materials
It is regrettable
that the voters’ roll remained unavailable and this can potentially
undermine the credibility of the electoral process. Also of major
concern was the delayed release, distribution and the non- availability
of the electronic and hard copies of the voters roll particularly
to contesting political parties. ZESN noted the following issues
regarding the voters’ roll;
- Some who
voted in the special voting process, had not had their names removed
from the voters’ roll.
voters who voted in previous elections did not appear on the voters’
- Some who
claim to have not voted in the special voting process had their
names crossed out of the voters’ roll.
- Some people’s
registration slips did not disclose the ward but constituency
and block. As a result some people were referred to the constituency
command centres where they were either assisted or not. The Ward
based voting system was confusing and many as a result were turned
ZESN is also
concerned by reports filtering in from various provinces regarding
disruptions in the voting process and the high numbers of assisted
voters particularly in Mashonaland East, West and Masvingo provinces.
For example, in Goromonzi South Mashonaland East, at one polling
station voters in this area have been assisted to vote by the same
three people from their area while others were provided an opportunity
to be assisted by people of their choice.
In a related
incident, known MDC-T supporters from Muzarabani North constituency
were allegedly ordered by Zanu-PF officials to declare that they
are illiterate and were assigned people who assisted them to vote.
Only the headman and his wife voted freely with about 40 to 50 people
being assisted to vote at Nyadukutu primary school. In Mutare South,
Ward 2, at Gutaurare School as at 1300hours 50 assisted voters had
been recorded. In Midlands those who are illiterate, were not being
given a chance to choose a person who can assist them as stated
by Section 59 of the Electoral
of voting in Chipinge South as a result of an error by the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC). ZESN observers reported that ZEC had
switched candidates’ pictures on the ballot papers and voting
had to be stopped temporarily as the ZEC tried to rectify the problem.
ZESN also notes
the harassment and intimidation of voters by traditional leaders
in Provinces such as Masvingo and Mashonaland East. There have also
been reports of voters being instructed to register their names
and serial numbers of their ballot papers at desks set up in some
ZESN has received reports of missing ballot papers in areas such
as Nkulumane in Bulawayo and inadequate ballot papers in areas like
Goromonzi South. At Gutaurare School in Mutare South Ward 22 and
Gwanda Central, voting was put on hold after ballot papers for Ward
councillors ran out. ZESN also observed varying treatment of voters
where some voters were turned away despite having produced a voters’
slip. Voters in Mutare South constituency who have voter registration
slips were being turned away on allegations that their names do
not appear on the voters roll.
we noted that the inconsistent treatment of the elderly, pregnant
women, nursing mothers and people living with disabilities at polling
to encourage all registered voters to exercise their right to vote
within the few hours left before polling stations close at 7pm.
ZESN has set
up hotlines for citizens to share their views and comments about
the Harmonised Elections. The contact numbers will be: 0771692029,
and 0771692032. Citizens can also participate on our social media
andTwitter handle: #ZESN1.
ZESN will be
issuing updates on the entire process and will issue its Preliminary
Statement on the harmonised elections on Thursday 01 August at a
time to be advised.
Visit the ZESN
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