Zec in soldiers storm

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has admitted to employing serving members of the army, the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) before forcing them to resign, a commissioner has said.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA\RICHARD CHIDZA

Zec commissioner Joyce Kazembe told a media briefing in Harare yesterday that the now “former” servicemen and women were at the time of interviews and appointment still serving.

Kazembe, however, could not say whether the new Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba had resigned from her job at the High Court.

“We advertised for the jobs and they applied like everyone else. These were open advertisements. Yes, at that time they were still actively involved in the military and the police as well as other areas, after they succeeded in the interviews we then told them to go and resign. They did that, we see nothing wrong with that,” Kazembe said.

Chigumba’s predecessor Rita Makarau held three positions during her tenure as head of the poll management body. Makarau was also acting secretary at the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), as well as her position as a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.

“She (Chigumba) is here permanently and will not hear any cases. I am certain that even our former chairperson (Makarau) during her time here never took up any cases besides acting as secretary to JSC,” Kazembe, who could not provide answers as to whether Makarau had continued to draw a salary from the bench, said.

The opposition has been calling on Zec to rid itself of all military and security personnel, saying their continued employment at the electoral body violated the Constitution and compromised the credibility of the polls.

Chigumba on Monday told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice that at least 15% of the Zec secretariat of 383 members are “former members of the security services”.

Reminded that Zec’s predecessor, the Electoral Supervisory Commission had employed now Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba as its boss and that at the time it had been reported that he had resigned before he inexplicably returned to his job with the army, Kazembe swore, the army chief never resigned. “He (Nyikayaramba) never resigned. Remember that body was not permanent; Zec only became permanent in 2007. He never resigned,” Kazembe said almost animatedly.

MDC-T acting spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo said her party had been vindicated.


“We have told the whole world that Zanu PF is using State institutions to rig elections and this admission is evidence. If President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is genuine about a free and fair election he should allow for the chlorination of Zec and removal of these military people whose continued presence will dent the credibility of the electoral process,” she said.

Khumalo’s comments were echoed by the National People’s Party spokesperson Gift Nyandoro, who said Zec’s admission cements the perception that Zimbabwe was under military rule.

Kazembe, who stood in for Chigumba, also told reporters that Bulawayo and Matabeland South had shunned the biometric voter registration by recording the lowest number of voters registered so far.

“Highest proportion of registered voters recorded in Harare at 14,4% of the total followed by Midlands at 13,8%. Lowest proportion of registered voters recorded in Bulawayo with 4,1% of the total followed by Matabeleland South with 4,8%,” Kazembe said.

26 Comments

  1. according to a former state security minister members of the cio serve for life.As for ex members of the army they can be recalled as well if they is a need.i dont know about the police.However my assumption is these security officers were seconded to zec to inform their paymasters of any unfavourable outcome as well as manipulate the whole system.Parliament should as well investigate whether they are not receiving two salaries not to accept kazembes word as fact.

  2. Phillip Mazowe

    Is the Joyce Kazembe the same from the Minister Kazembe Kazembe stable?????

    1. obvious this is Zimbabwe you expect no real change

  3. CIO operatives never resign, they pretend to do so as they continue with their clandestine mission(s). All CIO operatives on ZEC payroll are still active in the spooky organisation.

  4. saka are we by any means saying once a soldier you die a soldier? are soldiers not ordinary people form our lovely zim? if an opportunity arises and you go for it what is wrong there. I have seen people moving from ZRP and joining other organisations as accountants etc.,have we ever complained. The other point, how many of us resigned from jobs before confirmation of a new appointment/ saka chashata apa chii?

    1. The problem is that in Zimbabwe most soldiers are here for Zanu PF only and not the rest of Zimbabweans. The same for ZRP, CIO, etc. The so-called security forces don’t care that all Zimbabweans are suffering – 37 years now of the most abject poverty – they don’t care at all. They are the ones who were protecting Mugabe all these years, killing innocent people in 2008 and vowing to never salute an opposition winner (the same as our silly chiefs are saying), in spite of the constitution. You quote the rights of the constitution when it suits you, but when your livelihood was threatened you turned even against Mugabe. These soldiers will protect only their interests, not of this country. I can guarantee the soldiers are preparing for massive rigging come elections, even though they know MDC is the only party that will bring prosperity for all – including themselves. This is the level of selfishness Mugabe has created in Zimbabwe’s institutions – breaking the law with impunity. In my book all these actions and words by army leaders and chiefs are treasonous and a good leader would jail them for a better Zimbabwe. Of course, they would rather jail me…

  5. Yeah sure, but change will level itself. Remember God is not a fool nor human. He chooses what is the best for us, and if the existing government is not the best, surely surely God will give us another government. No wonder why Mugabe was there for long, only to find out that he was exceeding his reign, that’s why he was kicked out. But surprisingly, God did no tell us who should succeed him. We become to doubt the future now, but great change is ahead!

  6. Matebele Warrior- Chamisa is our leader

    The sticking point is on independence of ZEC.ZEC is constitutionally an independent body for the nation.Its custodians must also be independent.From my experience as a professional it is near null for one who has been aligned to a certain party to be independent.The cry by us is true , these guys will never be independent if we want free elections .
    Anywhere whats pulling them to leave their jobs and join ZEC.There is a motive

    Asifuni bumbulu lapha

    1. Well if you do not want soldiers to be employed anywhere after retirement, then give them a very gud pension and retirement package. Otherwise they will still apply for jobs in ZEC and other government depts and are more like to get the jobs because they are disciplined and more organised.

  7. The independence of ZEC is judged by members who are not coming from backgrounds that are suspect, simple. If you employed a former prisoner gardener, would you go away for 3 months entrusting your property to the former inmate, the answer is obvious. Employing former members of security esp intelligence seriously compromises our democracy. We should never sing that our electrion will be free, credible & watwat, but must actively ensure those running it are clean. Once a CIO always a CIO. Security members respond to authority without questioning. So having such former members is out

  8. Zimbabwe will never forge ahead as long as Zanu pf still governs zimbabwe and does snake activities.Zanu pf can’t and will not copy the good things from developed countries because they are selfish and killers of innocent souls,hence they don’t worry about zimbabwe’s development.Down with these evil doers and those who keep on supporting evilness.

  9. What’s all the fuss about retired soldiers? are they not civil servants like teachers, doctors, ex judges etc? You didn’t not apply for jobs muchiti zec is a zanupf project now you are crying foul

    1. Retired soilders are enjoying their pensions so there is no right to employ them for at ZEC. A good idea is to employ some people who are not going to work especially graduates.

  10. Comment…we hate zanu come election chamisa would be our next leader

  11. Comment…we hate zanu come election chamisa would be our next leader

  12. “Kazembe, who stood in for Chigumba, also told reporters that Bulawayo and Matabeland South had shunned the biometric voter registration by recording the lowest number of voters registered so far.”

    If the highest proportion of registered voters recorded is 14,4% in Harare Province, this is an astonishing assertion, to put it mildly. For in truth, ALL the provinces appear to have shunned the BVR – making for an expensive but empty exercise. An election where more than 80% of known voters have not bothered to register questions the usefulness of the entire process. In fact, it is odd that this is not the lead for this story. This is more like a coma than it is apathy.

    If my own refusal to register is any indication, a majority of people refuse to participate in what, under current conditions, has come to be perceived as an entirely bogus exercise.

  13. Are we saying former soldiers and former police officers should never get employment? To me they are citizens of Zimbabwe, and should be given an equal chance of getting jobs anywhere, as long as they qualify. Most American presidents are former soldiers. Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete was an army colonel. Where, really do we take this idea that former soldiers are enemies? How many former secretaries are in ZEC? How many former accountants are in ZEC? How many former teachers are in ZEC?

    1. Some of us and I guess a number of Zimbabweans are not really worried about “retired” professional soldiers per se, but are seriously concerned about soldiers who went to ZEC under specific command/order to ensure that their commanders’ wish of never saluting a democratically elected president with no liberation credentials is fulfilled. Those are the ones whom we want to take out from ZEC. Again we are greatly concerned about CIO operatives whom we suspect might constitute over 50% of ZEC staff. It is a known fact the world over that secret service officials don’t resign, thus who are they reporting the activities of ZEC to???

  14. Can someone tell me why why why Mudede is keeping his job at 73????

  15. My question is if the posts at ZEC are so attractive why don’t they woo other professionals. Those who joined ZEC from the teaching service are mostly war vets. Let’s not justify the unjustifiable. It’s not healthy.
    Lets not argue for the sake of arguing to support the status quo. A lot happened and this is the right time to undo it. With these 15% in the ZEC system forget about the Free and Fair elections. Its a pipe dream.

  16. the naked truth is zec was operating under the office of president & cabinet. Now that ED is talking of free, fair & credible elections ZEC must be clean of spooks and hence the people are calling for transparency in the composure of personnel. Soldiers / CIOs like n other qualified people have equal opportunities to jobs BUT we cannot expect them to pack a suppose to be independent election board. Too many graduates out there waiting for an opportunity to serve their country.

  17. If these former state agents are retired,why rehiring them when the entire country is crying transparency?

  18. If these former state agents are retired,why rehiring them when the entire country is crying for transparency?

  19. Uuuuuummm…let us not ask the impossible. How many people resign from their jobs first before applying for another job? Let us be fair and not be blind to reality regardless of our political persuasions. A person can retire from his job at an age that can allow him or her to look for another job…change of careers. If the ex soldiers ,CIO, police officers applied and got their jobs on merit where is the problem? How old is Tabitha Khumalo…must she stop working for her family because she is old and there are young people who can replace her? If the young people lack the qualifications or are lazy to apply for jobs why blame the successful candidates. Lets be objective and not colour our arguments based on political agendas.

  20. hoooo. ndiyo team yekuchengeta ma results for 3 months. vamwe voti dont worry they are clean. retired. really? ichokwadi ichocho. handina kupusa ini.

  21. Jouycece Kazembe has become a law unto herself. It’s time someone brought her back to size!!!!

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