Chaos as police, soldiers vote

POLICE officers and soldiers who will be on duty during the July 31 harmonised elections yesterday started casting their special ballots in a process characterised by delay and shortage of ballot papers, raising doubts over the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s ability to run credible polls later this month.

STAFF REPORTERS

Most polling stations in Harare opened at 7am with thousands of police officers waiting to cast their votes while most of the stations had no ballot papers.

The two MDC formations immediately said they no longer trusted Zec to oversee the make-or-break July 31 polls after it failed to administer special voting.

At other polling stations, including Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare and Highfield, voting started at around 7:30am as ballot papers were received late. The situation was replicated in Southerton.

The constituency election officer for Southerton, Garikai Manyanga, said: “We opened at 7am, but voting started around 7:30am because we experienced delays in receiving the ballot papers.”

By 10am, thousands of police officers at Mount Pleasant Hall had not had an opportunity to cast their vote as the ballot envelops were yet to arrive.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the morning as the police officers forced their way into the polling stations to cast their votes.

Zec commissioner Geoff Feltoe, who was at Mount Pleasant, said there was confusion because some of the ballot envelopes had not been delivered.

“The process has been slow here because some of the envelopes had not yet arrived. So what they are now doing is to call out the officers who have their envelopes here so as to decongest,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner-General Innocent Matibiri and officer commanding Harare Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriarwa paid a visit at Mount Pleasant Hall in the morning to see how the process was going.

In Kuwadzana, by 3:30pm no votes had been cast as the ballot papers were said to be too few.

At one polling station at Kwekwe High School, a paltry 203 ballot envelops were delivered with 703 police officers having been registered.

The MDC-T also complained over the presence of Kwekwe Central Police Station officer-in-charge Aternus Murada who was controlling the queue.

In Masvingo and Zvishavane, by 5pm, the special voting exercise had not yet started due to lack of ballot papers, while by afternoon voting was yet to commence in Marondera.

“The process is overwhelming, we have not yet compiled the number of officers who have voted yet, but it is going on smoothly,” a polling officer at Town House in Harare said. “We have not yet sent anyone away.”

Zec deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe told a Press conference last night that voting had not begun in Masvingo.

“Voting at most polling stations started at a slow pace at most centres. This was mainly due to the fact that we delayed dispatching ballot papers to the centres. I wish to advise that the printing of ballot papers delayed even beyond our expectation. This was due to a number of reasons, chief of which was the delay in finalising the designing of ballot papers in those wards and constituencies where nomination was under challenge.

“We were hoping that the printer providing printing services to us would complete the printing of ballot papers on time, but this has not happened as printing is still in progress.”

Kazembe said ballot papers had been dispatched as follows: Matabeleland North 1 724, Matabeleland South 153, Midlands 1 204, Harare 566, Bulawayo 864 while Masvingo was yet to receive ballot papers.

“We admit we underestimated the process. By next week, all ballot papers for July 31 will be ready,” Kazembe said.

Addressing MDC-T party supporters in Masvingo, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai questioned if the national elections body could cope with millions of registered voters countrywide when it was overwhelmed by only about 70 000 police officers.

“We gave Zec the powers to oversee a free and fair poll. But right now, the special voting exercise by the police today has not yet commenced,” Tsvangirai said.

“The question is if Zec has failed to run the special voting of about 80 000 police officers, how then can it administer a national poll? If Zec fails to avail ballot boxes for the police, how then will it cope when it comes to national elections?”

Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi concurred that the bungling witnessed during the special voting had exposed Zec.

“It is now clear that Zec has not been ready for elections. This is an election by ambush. If Zec is failing to transparently run a small poll like the special vote, how then are they going to run a bigger election? They must stop lying and publicly admit that they are not adequately equipped to run elections,” he said.

“Zimbabwe is facing a disputed and discredited poll because of chaos that is engulfing the special vote. The credibility of Zec is now at stake. The MDC is investigating allegations of vote-rigging in Mberengwa and blocking of our election agents.”

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33 Responses to Chaos as police, soldiers vote

  1. Brian Chikwati July 15, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Vote as you please.

  2. Dzinonzwahadzirimi July 15, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    It’s clear Zec as presently constituted lacks the capacity to run a credible election.The voter education exercise was a disaster, many people could not be registered because of their ineptitude.Now it’s the special vote.Whoever believes Zec will be able to conduct a credible election is dreaming.

    • CT July 15, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      Our national problem is that ALL structures of govt were ZANURISED, over the past 33 years<just as was happening in the USSR, including the judiciary, We need a fresh start if we are to ensure a better future for generations to come. The chance is NOW. It is our COLLECTIVE responsibility to say Mr RG enough is enouggh!

  3. Doode July 15, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Whoever thought that judges are good administrators has to re-think.

  4. Inimini July 15, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    So can we not conclude that sadc was right when maputo summit recommended govt to plead with concourt for an extension of deadline??

  5. Exiled July 15, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Hahahahahahaha Mai vanonzi Rita Makarau pamuromo chete she is as confused as Robert Mugabe who couldn’t launch the Zimbabwe National Youth Policy yet people had gathered for that sole purpose. The truth of the matter is that ZEC was told by Mugabe to accept that they are ready for polls while in fact they are far far far far away from being ready for an election, even for 2 people. This is a sign that Mugabe can push anyone to their limits and they just accept for fear of victimization. Honourable Mugabe can you at once restore your honour by accepting that Zimbabwe is not ready for elections. Even your party’s primaries showed this fact as they had to resort to using cardboard boxes as polling boxes and bondpaper as ballot paper. do you want the same to be done for a national election? Tipeiwo ma serious Ngwena and crew we know you are behind this. you are forcing this old man to lie to the world for your own benefit.

    • Watch That Ngwena! July 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      She’s just an instrument. It would be silly to think she’s accountable.

      She makes no decision. Like a puppet, she sways to what they order.

      As for Ngwena… if you think Mugabe is bad. Wait till this guy takes over. Mugabe should be no one’s main concern as he wont be with us for long. In his evil and madness, there was control. Now if Mugabe drops dead and his hound is left to run things, we will know true pain without restraint.

      Mugabe is less powerful but holds the like of Ngwena at bay.

      When he dies, Ngwena will unleash his evil upon us if not stopped.

      He’s the greatest threat to any future democracy. He is relentless and can kill without thought. He is capable of eliminating within ZANUPF and all outside who are in opposition

      Pray for Zimbabwe.

      The battle does not end with the winning of elections.

      Newspapers, supporters and all media obsess over Mugabe who is now frail and will be resting soon. But they forget that there is a far worse man with a strong belief that he should succeed Mugabe.

      I know that man personally. Most who do agree with me kuti he is the type to cleanse by murder all and any sort of thorns without any restraint or discipline.

      • CT July 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

        RG is a sly person who intends to leave a successor who is 4 times cruel than himself ,during the 33 yrs he has been in office, so that we remember him during that era. Be warned woo! Be careful, if the likes of the comrade from the midlands is given a chance on power!

  6. Bjmakani July 15, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    It will became a problem why MDC-T complaining always whereever ,it seems they are leading the observes ,all the parties must queit till to end we want free and fair elections but kana mave kutsika tsoka dzezec tobva toona kunge mave kuabuser zec vanowinner vachawinner kwete kuvhiringa pedzisire ponzipaneabirdzira but vacho vakanyarara toda runyararo haisiri nyika yeZANU-PF,MDC,MDC-T,ZANU NDONGA inyika yemaZimbabweans!

  7. madhara July 15, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Truly the is chaos at ZEC. I personally I applied for special voting since I will be on duty away from my ward on 31st July but allas we were told by ZEC Seniors that our applications are not approved. The ZEC district chair told us to choose whether we like to vote or be polling officers on the 31st. Its a shame, its my right to vote but on the other hand I’m just but a poor civil servant who needs money. I’m being corned. My president, My Mp and my Councilor must win, and I know my vote counts. Powers that be, must force ZEC to allow those who want to go and vote to take a few hours leave for that course. Mazita hatitauri but very soon ZEC chiefs totokufumurai hapwa. Pliz allow us to decide the future of our children manzwa here vakuru.

  8. BaKudzie July 15, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Lets wait n see

  9. Gutter Poet July 15, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    ZEC appeared to have been in the groove as regard this election and people were quite happy with Justice Nikurau..she does not need this. I suppose this could be attributed to teething problems and today everything will go as clockwork. It is indeed unfortunate that they started this way but hey..lets give them the benefit of the doubt. If on the other hand there is a sinister hand at play to cause this chaos it should be exposed..far too much is at stake more so the reputation of the government, the two ladies (who appeared to be working so hard around the clock) and the generalty of Zimbabweans. With 90% adult literacy making us the mercedes benz of the continent’s children we do not NEED this at all. I pray that ZEC have learnt from this and hopefully things will go on swimmingly from hereon…Call me a blind optimist (most are) but I believe ZEC will get it right in the end,lets give them time. Lets have an election that befits what we call ourselves: the most educated of Africa.

  10. Bla G July 15, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Zec is a disaster!!!!!!

  11. MLILO July 15, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Zec are not yet prepared to conduct the election.period.They are just being hurried to do these things against their wish and capacity.I feel sorry for the ladies,Rita and Kazebe.More chaos is coming on the 31July.By the end of the day today less than 20000 police officers will have voted.Even the rigging machinery will be angry with Zec.Their 69000 strong force wont be accounted for by end of the day.Poor intelligence indeed.Now I agree why reformes are necessary in the security sector,Poor adminsrartors all over.

  12. mai mwana July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    inga maiti tsvangirai anotaurisa paaito nyika haisati yaaready for maelections.hezvoka

  13. Europa July 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    HEZVOKA !

    • uhuru July 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      HEZVOKA

      • uhuru July 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

        HEZVOKA!!!

        • uhuru July 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

          VANE MADEGREE 7 VAKATAURIRWA NE “GRADE 7″KUTI WE R NT PREPARED VAKATI NT LEARNED ENUFF MANJE HEZVOKA !!!!!

  14. wamaromo July 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    That is ZEC for you. They will tell you they are ready but we don’t have the resources so how can they be ready if they don’t have the resources now they need a week for a few people to vote but come 31 July its the whole country can they manage, this is going to be sham vote mirai muone, ndokunge aitwa. Totobvunza mbavha iya inonzi Taguta yechipositori inovaka shopping complex p blind spot.

  15. Mpiya July 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    gore rino zvakaoma

  16. I SALUTE YOU July 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    for realising you are citizens empowered with integrity and in your vote lies hope for individual families future too. no one can manipulate us through lies and propaganda for they are only underestimating our intelligence as civil servants soldiers and policemen of all of the people and our families and friends too. POLITICIANS be warned we will vote for whom we want not who we are commanded to want!!

  17. sammy July 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    why feel sorry for rita. she is zanu. remember everything around is so zanu that it cannot be correct. just wait for more chaos if it happens that zanu win, just wait and see.

  18. s shumba July 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    The number of ballot paper issued so far for the 5 provinces is 4,500. If you double this number (for the remaining 5 provinces) you have 9,000 ballot papers.
    We have reports of 69,000 police officers being registered to vote. So where are the other 60,000 ballot papers / officers.
    Is somebody, in an office, going to put an X for them??? and put the ballot papers in the box Who keeps the boxes anyway – the same ZRP who is voting.

    SADC & AU, please help us on this one

  19. mhofu July 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Zimbabweans , being a patient people you are, who knows, maybe our time to be set free from this yoke of bondage has come. No wonder Zec is getting themselves into a lot of mistakes. Zanupf hegemony is now coming to an end. We must remain resolute the end of this tyrannical regime is nigh.

  20. Semhalo July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    “We were hoping that the printer providing printing services to us would complete the printing of ballot papers on time, but this has not happened as printing is still in progress.” Kiiiiiikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa. Ah Zec musatiuraye nekuseka. Now it is the printer’s fault!! Bwehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe.

  21. welly July 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    BELIEVE you me,there´s goin to be so much frustration ,confusion&chaos on the 31st of JULY@the polls.

  22. Gamba July 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Z.E.C this an that,where is your sense of patriotism,you behaving like the children of Noah who when they saw their father stark naked and drunk instead of covering up for their father they started laughing,pathetic.

    • Danai July 17, 2013 at 2:58 am #

      Ha iwe ibva iwe ndiwe uri pathetic patriotism yekuita sei rubbish dzakadai? Kuda kuita sympathize with nonsense! And don’t you dare bring Noah into this how can you equate nyaya ye munhu waMwari to this crap?? Nyara mhan!

  23. Maunzagona July 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    We are not ready for elections, why force ourselves to another disputed poll.

  24. tich July 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    May be I confused.ZEC iri kurovera bhora musango here kana kuti kwete.There might be two theories.1 Bhora musango,to frustrate Zanu Pf rigging machinery,so that when they (Zanu PF) want to claim a win because of special votes everyone will remember that less than 20 000 of the designated 80 000 managed to vote during the two days of special vote.Now SADC and AU have seen what needs to be done on 31 July,so that we can have a credible election,Zec have delibarately came up with an eye opener to the public and international community. Or
    2 Its a ploy by Zanu Pf ,that someone is voting for all these people on”desk top”.And this will be the strategy that will be used come 31 july so that we can have a repeat of 2005 events when half of the registered voters in MDC stronghold like most urban areas failed to vote.
    Help me maface,which is which apa.

  25. jiggyz July 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    panews charity charamba chati imhosva yemdc-t pliz charity wakatosara…..

  26. Zhizha July 17, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    I had great respect for judges, but hey i have always think they are not good administrators. Now i have doubts in our education system. If a poorly learned person can predict chaos zvichiitika ko imi makadzidza hamuna kuzviona sei. Dont take us for a ride blaming MDC-T for a case they put in the courts that u administer. Ah guys kana udofo uyu wanyanya manje.

    Rita ask Gono how to print things. He could print money in an instant so why cant you learn from that?

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