The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has vowed to declare the winner of the next presidential election within five days of the polls even if the victor does not have liberation war credentials, a senior official has said.
Addressing participants at a workshop in Bulawayo last Thursday, Zec commissioner Professor Geoff Feltoe, said they would not be intimidated by certain individuals who have vowed not to recognise a leader without liberation war credentials.
Feltoe said the law was there to enable Zec to ensure transfer of power without any resistance and the commission will enforce it to allow whoever wins the election to access power.
“We take the security sector as professional institutions and we expect them to operate professionally without bias as enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.
“We encourage professionalism in the sector and we believe with the reforms currently being done everyone will respect the outcome of the elections.”
Some service chiefs have reportedly vowed to rally behind Zanu PF candidate President Robert Mugabe even if he loses the poll.
But Feltoe said Zec would ensure that in the run-up to the elections, all political parties are accorded equal campaigning opportunities both in rural and urban centres.
He assured participants the issue of political violence during the elections will be dealt with “as a matter of urgency”.
“There will be special courts to deal with any violence during the elections and this will be done in liaison with the peace liaison officers who will be based at polling stations,” said Feltoe, adding election results would be announced at polling station level.
Announcement of results of the first round of the 2008 presidential elections were delayed by more than two months, thus heightening political tension amid fears of rigging and manipulation.
In contrast, results of the presidential election run-off held on June 27, were released without delay.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zec deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe told participants the commission currently does not have capacity to register voters.
“Zec do not have the capacity to register voters in terms of human resources and equipment. That is currently done by the national registrar office supervised by Zec,” Kazembe said.