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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
ZEC should prove it is not rigging
for Democratic Change
of impartiality or lack thereof has been a thorny issue in the Zimbabwe’s
electoral management body the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
since the formation of the MDC.
There is no
equivocation that the MDC has been winning elections since its formation
but has been losing the vote count owing to the partiality of ZEC.
Judging by the
conduct of ZEC in previous elections, the MDC has every reason to
be worried and call upon the electoral management body to institute
mechanisms that instil confidence in the people that their vote
is not going to waste but will make a meaningful contribution towards
change in Zimbabwe.
we have seen how the electoral management body has been used by
Zanu PF to subvert the will of the people.
In June 2000,
following the famous constitutional
referendum defeat, ZEC drastically reduced the number of polling
stations particularly in the urban areas for the parliamentary elections.
eligible urban voters were deliberately disenfranchised and could
not cast their ballot. In the rural areas, where Zanu-PF is perceived
to enjoy support, polling stations were erected at kraals. This
same rigging tactic was employed during the 2002 presidential election.
In 2005, the
electoral management body in cohorts with the delimitation commission
employed the tactic of gerrymandering whereby urban seats were combined
with rural seats to dilute the MDC vote. As a result, the MDC parliamentary
share plummeted from 57 seats to 41 seats.
In 2008, it
took ZEC more than six weeks to announce the presidential
election results which when they were finally announced were
unashamedly rigged in favour of Zanu-PF. The MDC’s own internal
parallel voter tabulation revealed that President Tsvangirai had
gotten more than enough votes to avoid and run-off. For the same
body to preside over a sham run-off election, which was international
discredited, was rather open mischief.
Judging by the
conduct of ZEC during the special vote of 14 and 15 July 2013, the
MDC and every democracy, change and transformation loving person
has every reason to be worried.
of irregularities that overwhelmed this process only manifests that
ZEC, despite having new Commissioners, is a case of old wine in
new bottles. It is a fact that by close of the first day of voting
more than 95 percent of polling stations has not received voting
It is a fact
that ballot papers were only printed the day before the election.
It also a fact that ZEC was not in charge of the electoral process
but senior police officers who were coercing police personnel to
vote for Zanu-PF.
lingering in every Zimbabwean’s mind is, if ZEC cannot manage
a mere 209 polling stations, how will they manage over 9 500 polling
stations on July 31? If ZEC fails to print ballot papers for a mere
70 000 people, how they will print for the 6.4 million eligible
voters? Put simply, does ZEC have the capacity to ensure the will
of the people is respected? Thus Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
has every right and reason to question the institutional capacity
of ZEC to deliver on 31 July 2013.
It is for this
reason that the MDC has called for the commission to hire new civilian
staff to superintend the election process. From the highlighted
irregularities and the perpetual bungling by ZEC it is abundantly
clear that there are dark forces with the electoral management body
that are bent on manipulating the vote.
The MDC and
the people of Zimbabwe have learnt from past experience and will
not allow ZEC to stand in their way and their resolve for change
and transformation. ZEC cannot and must not allow itself to emerge
as a stumbling block to the peoples’ thirst for freedoms,
democracy, real change and transformation.
The onus is
on ZEC to allay fears that elections are rigged before they even
start. ZEC must prove and instil confidence in the people that it
is ready to preside over a transparent election.
The MDC will
follow and watch every process and step to ensure that rigging does
not take place. The MDC will not allow the perpetual feat of winning
elections and losing the vote count. Come July 31, the people will
endorse real change and transformation.
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