MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told top officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) that his party had unearthed a massive scam where Zanu PF allegedly plotted to rig the forthcoming harmonised elections using State security agents and a hired Israeli intelligence organisation.
REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU
Tsvangirai also alleged that Section 56 (1) of the Electoral Amendment Act which prohibited double voting had been clandestinely deleted, a move he described as highly suspicious.
Briefing journalists after meeting Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau at his Charter House offices in Harare, Tsvangirai through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Zanu PF planned to register over 50 000 police officers as special voters to allow them to cast their ballot before the election date.
According to the electoral laws, police officers on duty on the polling dates were allowed to vote in advance to allow them to provide security during
“The co-Minister of Home Affairs (Theresa Makone), who was present in the meeting raised this concern, saying as far as she was concerned, Zimbabwe only has some 38 000 police officers. Where then would the other 12 000 or so come from? It all points to attempts to rig, which is why everything is appearing unclear to the PM,” he said.
Contacted for comment, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police has registered 50 000 police officers as Special Voters since they will be deployed in various polling stations away from their work stations. This is according to Section 81 of the Electoral Act, Chapter 2:13 which states that:“A registered Voter shall be entitled to cast a Special Vote in terms of Part X1VA before the polling day or on the first polling day in an election if he or she will be unable to vote at a Polling Station in his or her Constituency because he or she;
a) Is or will be an Electoral Officer.
b) Is a member of a disciplined force who will be performing security duties during the election.
“There is, therefore, nothing unusual and sinister in deploying that figure since we have always been doing that in other duties where we do not have enough
Asked to explain the discrepancy between her 50 000 figure and the 38 000 provided by the police minister, Charamba said the “ZRP regular members would be augmented by police constabulary members who, according to the Police Act Chapter 27 (3) states that police constabulary members may be employed to assist regular members of the force on any occasion.”
Asked to comment on allegations of tampering with the Electoral Amendment Act, Zanu PF co-chairperson of the now disbanded Copac, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana distanced himself from the matter and referred NewsDay to Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa.
“If it’s anything to do with the electoral amendments, Minister Chinamasa would be the right person to talk to,” Mangwana said.
Chinamasa could not be reached for comment.
The Premier also took aim at the Israeli intelligence organisation, which he alleged was operating in Zimbabwe with local electoral bodies, to influence the outcome of elections.
“These people have a bad track record and were involved in some countries in Africa in tampering with the voters’ roll and we are worried that they could be tempering with our voters’ roll. As a country, it would be bad for our voters roll to be associated with such people,” he said.