HomeLocal NewsPolls may be peaceful, not fair — ZDI

Polls may be peaceful, not fair — ZDI

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A LOCAL political think-tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), says the elections are likely to produce a disputed result as indications on the ground show that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and Zanu PF are conniving to manipulate the poll.

REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA

Speaking during the launch of their report titled Electoral Battleground Voters’ Roll Rigmarole, ZDI said free and fair elections were unlikely given the chaos that prevailed during the special voting, the mystery surrounding the unavailability of the voters’ roll and the inclusion of members of the security forces in the Zec secretariat.

“This report is not to undermine any authority. We are not causing chaos, but to manage the chaos,” Rashweat Mukundu, chairman of ZDI, said.

“We have parties that don’t know the voters’ roll. There is no room for citizens to check the voters’ roll. I know of people registered, but were not given slips meaning that on July 31, your name won’t be there and you won’t do anything about it. Such a system will be open to abuse,” he said.

“Hundreds of young police officers in new uniforms were seen voting and you wonder whether it was a coincidence to distribute new uniforms and you wonder whether they were genuine and these are things to look at before we go for elections in a few days’ time.”

ZDI director Pedzisai Ruhanya said there was no reason to trust Zec in conducting the elections after the commission failed to handle 80 000 special voters.

“The manufacturers of chaos and anarchy are Zec by their own admission. It (the voters’ roll) is not a personal document, it’s not the RG (Registrar-General)’s personal document but it’s the citizens’ document. There is a misplaced idea that without violence, the elections will be free and fair. A free and fair election is beyond violence. If, for instance, the people of Harare, Bulawayo or UMP (Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe)fail to vote because of non-availability of material, the election will not be free and fair,” Ruhanya said.

“We will raise the (red) flag and we are equal to the job.”

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