Zec drops poll bombshell

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has effectively shut the doors on opposition parties, saying they could only raise complaints over the quality of the voters’ roll and other election-related matters after the July 30 general elections.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said political parties had no choice, but to participate in the July 30 polls and raise their complaints later as the election date cannot be changed.

Chigumba said her commission had started running copies of the voters’ roll for the successfully-nominated candidates, adding that complaints related to data on the voters’ roll would only be raised after the elections.

“Whether the candidates scrutinise the voters’ roll, whether they see any anomalies in it, whatever the anomalies are, whatever legal recourse they have will not stop an election. I want that to be very clear, nothing stops the election,” she said.

“Let me put the law into perspective, first thing to take note is once the President has proclaimed the election date, there is nothing short of an earthquake that can stop the election.”

Opposition parties have since last month been piling pressure on Zec to release a physical copy of the voters’ roll so they could check if voters’ details were properly captured to minimise the number of turned away voters on election day.

Chigumba said the public would only access the voters’ roll 48 hours after it has been released to the nominated candidates, following which the roll will then be gazetted.

“If there are 3 000 councillors, on the day of gazetting, each councillor should get a free copy at our expense, Members of Parliament each should get a copy. So you can get an idea of the numbers of copies we are currently running. After the gazetting and having provided all of our candidates with these copies the 48-hour rule should kick in ordinarily bearing unforeseen things like lack of Zesa in our provinces, but we do print these voters’ roll here at the head office,” she said.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube said Chigumba’s remarks confirmed opposition fears that the elections would not be free and fair.

“We have always said that Zec was not ready for the elections,” he said.


“(President) Emmerson (Mnangagwa) could not have proclaimed the election date before the roll was ready. If there is no final voters’ roll, then the election was called prematurely. We cannot have a situation that after four or five days after nomination, the voters’ roll is not out.

“There is nowhere in the world, even in a Banana republic you can have that. As for Chigumba to give us lessons on legal remedies, she is not the ideal person. Anything can be challenged as long as it violates the Constitution,” he said. Observers have often accused Zec of deliberately delaying the release of the voters’ roll to deny opposition parties an opportunity to scrutinise it ahead of the polls.

Electoral Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said: “For lack of a better word, it is very tragic. If Zec is preparing for an election, it should prepare for a free and fair election, not one that will be challenged.

“Refusing to share details on the voters’ roll, refusing inspection of the voters’ roll so that people can give feedback is an admission that Zec does not want any form of oversight and accountability. It shows the election commission is not ready and serious about running national elections.

He added: “How can they prepare to go for an election that will be contested? What is the rush? What type of an election are they preparing to run?

“We went to court and obtained a court order for them to release the voters’ roll used for inspection, but Zec has defied a court order because it wants to run an election without accountability.

“An election should not be an election for the sake of an election. The dispute surrounding the 2013 polls was pertaining to the voters’ roll and we are repeating the same mistake. If they can tell us today that this is the final voters’ roll without having been inspected; then they can as well tell us that this would be the final results and we have nothing to do about it.”

Zimbabwe has had a bad record of handling electoral issues, with some cases spilling into the next election calendar before being resolved by the courts. Founding MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai died in February this year, with his 2002 election petition against former President Robert Mugabe’s victory still to be resolved by the courts.

Last week, the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance accused Zec of deliberately delaying the release of the voters’ roll as a ploy to disenfranchise opposition candidates and their supporters on polling day. At the weekend, British ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing took to Twitter, urging Zec to release the voters’ roll urgently.

“@UKinZimbabwe have spoken to a number of candidates today, none of whom has been given a copy of the voters’ roll. This is very disappointing – the roll is an exceptionally important part of this election. @ZECzim must issue roll urgently to ensure #freeandfairelections,” Laing’s tweet read.

Laing, who will be leaving Zimbabwe in November following her re-assignment to Nigeria, yesterday said Zimbabwe’s economic potential depended on its ability to hold free and fair elections. She said the UK government was keen to support Zimbabwe reclaim its position in the economic, democractic and human rights spheres.

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28 Comments

  1. This is true testimony that this CIO called Chigumba is working with Zanu to steal the election once again. I think the best way is to boycott this shame election because once the opposition participates they will be rubber stamping this evil regime. Lets leave no stone unturned this time around to dislodge these evil thugs, Aluta continua!!

    1. Wezhira Wezhara

      She is now CIO because she spoke sense but when she ruled in favor of MDC demonstrations during her time as High Court judge you praised her. She is merely interpreting the law kwete zvekurota izvo. Voters roll inspection was done between 19 and 29 May so which other inspection are you talking about? Can a political party correct my particulars on the voters roll better than what I did? Muti kwanire and dont think elections will not be held because Chamisa pulls out. There are 22 other candidates in case you forgot.

      1. Amen Thank you!!!

  2. Our opposition is always wailing. Cry babies. Kana wazvitanga zvenyika zvinoda kugwinya Jojo.

  3. mbavha,this cornfirms what JONSO was saying please opposition be worry of those CHINAS in mazowe who want to hack the voters roll after casting your ballot.God is in our side this time everything will be revealed clearly satan CHIGUMBA achanyara.after winning Chigumba must leave this country and stay abroad with his zanoids.

  4. mmmmmmmm!!!! I smell a rot here. Are all the other opposition political parties(besides MDC Alliance) really standing against or for ZANUPF. I don’t hear them complaining about the illegalities conducted by ZEC. ZANUPF too seems fine with ZEC refusing to release the voter’s roll. I wonder, do all parties honestly,and genuinely share an authentic (ethical) idea to develop a democratic Zimbabwe?????

    1. Only-in-Zimbabwe

      You’re so very spot on as your nom de guerre

  5. This is stupidity at its best. Chigumba is a certified idiot. Why now would anyone doubt that ZEC is an extension of Zanu PF?

  6. This time they wont win they dont know what is on people’s mind.we want change of the whole system,if they were to know vangadai vakazviona kuMasvingo ground rakazara nevana vechikoro vanenzara miromo yakachenuruka vachazviona 20% havasvitsi mark my words.

  7. Farai Johnson Nhire

    If Mdc Alliance decides to boycot, there will still remain another Mdc to participate. In that event, i see a considerable proportion of Chamisa’s suporters turning to Mdc T. Nhamo inenge yemudzanga wefodya, uku wakarumwa uku urikutsva.

  8. you are the perfect lady priscilla and yes and only an earthquake can stop this watershed election we are tired of these funny tactics by the alliance

  9. Justice Chigumba, you are talking like a party politician. Those statements are so outrageous and un-befitting of an independent arbiter. We are not your children who you talk to in this manner. Please show some respect to us Zimbabweans. We are now tired of sham elections and being treated like imbeciles.

  10. I have always wondered what precipitates civil strife in African countries. This abhorrent, shambolic behaviors by those in power that shuts down on democratic space indeed does. For 38 years Zanu PF has destroyed this country, destroyed a whole generation and now vakupindira our kids generation with more years of misrule, do we just fold our hands and keep quiet about this? I am really not sure if that pays.

  11. I am beginning to understand why R Makarau resigned.

  12. Even if you praises your paymasters-zanu pf ,Ms Chigumbura death has no boundary.

  13. what is this now

    i thought they said that the election process will be open for public and international observance,

  14. Chigumba must stop acting like she is ruling us.Why she is alwayz the problamatic to the whole entire of Zimbabwe? I don’t see whether she have gud qualifications of that job. Who employed her is it Mnangarwa? If he is the employer which means she is acting as an urgent of Zanu PF. She is doing cacus there and thats why Makarawu was resigning, i will seeIf things is like as the situation now, so why are we going for polls?

  15. Vana vadiki munozvinetseareiko? Chimboyarukai first mozofunga kutungamira nyika later. This nation is spiritual and haidi zvezvinyadzi zvinotaurwa nevazhinji venyu papublic platform including your leader who sugested to get himself involved in unprotected sex with thousands of women and impregnate them to prove he is a potential head of state. Hezvo mumwe wenyu anga achitaura nezvekuk*i *a *a kwa Mutsvangwa naZec chairman kuRussia in this very interaction. What a shame. This land is holy and you are certainly not yet qualified to lead it. I implore Hournarable Chamisa, whom i heard is a pastor, to go and research what often happened to the children of Israel whenever they engaged in immoral activities in the wildernes.

  16. dzanu yakaoma inoda kuchimhanya according to their rules. Manje gore rino tinopedzerana

  17. @Farai J Nhire.Vana vadiki wekuita sei?zvekuti kuwe nema election hazvisi mu constitution yakagadzirwa nevana weZimbabwe here?tikaramba tichikuteera uchati ndezve kuBritain.Iwe vataura zve unprotected sex wani,zvakataurwa nani,kupi?A decade without our own currency and still you have not had enough,shame on you.Nyika kuita kunge komboni!Your ship is now sinking,you may continue to sing praise and comic songs as much as you wish,kuzvisimbisa panzara, but that does not stop your ship from sinking.Soon we will be celebrating another new dispensation.

  18. @ Predator taura hako wangu nyika yedu iri kutongwa kunge komboni ,manje this time Zanu pf yakanyangira yaona ,havalume mira uone

  19. I wonder if people understand the subject of the matter under discussion here. It is indeed my humble submission that every registered voter had the right to inspect the voters’ roll and make the necessary corrections if at all there had been any errors. Furthermore, messages were broadcast onto our mobile phones informing every registered voter of their polling stations. What is being asked for by the MDC Alliance is the final voters’ roll which in essence is the national voters’ roll and which has to be availed to successful candidates free of charge; but members of the public can obtain it for a fee amounting to $20. So, what the learned judge simply said is that after the President has proclaimed a date for elections, they cannot be postponed at the behest of any political party ( Zanu PF included). In a nutshell, the process is irreversible – simple and straightforward. For the past good number of months, young Chamisa has been busy campaigning and in the process filling stadia to capacity; so, how does the voters’ roll scare him and his alliance? Some of this noise is real hogwash and meant to gain political mileage and unwarranted sympathy. July 30 handei kunovhota. Ichoooooo.

  20. Farai J Nhire

    Chokwadi ndicho chamusingafariri kuudzwa asi kungonyeperana chete. We can talk about election fraud and whatever but the fact remains that as far as the leadership of this nation is concerned, the devine will always calls the shots. Chero mukaedza kuvhundisira its pointless. Chigaro chakadogagwa naMnangagwa chero mukagwadziwa kusvika mogwara. There is a special reason why God lets things hapen the way they do and there is nothing that anybody can do about it.

  21. ED’s supporters seem to miss the point that Justice Chigumba has just sold out on ED’s secret. If I were ED, l would fire her for being very reckless with her mouth. Chigumba should, at least, be cultured enough to be polite in saying issues to do with important stuff like a national election. There’s no need for such arrogance. That arrogance rubs salt into the open wounds of the cheated Zimbos, who, since 2000, have been trying to rid Zim of an evil ZANU PF cabal. ED proclaimed the election date with a hidden agenda to disadvantage all other political parties outside ZANU PF. He is an interested party in this election, and the irony of it all seems to escape the learned judge. Unbelievable!!! But then again, she says all this because she’s ZANU PF and as such she can breach the law with impunity. Ndiani angamudini uyo anomiririra musangano weropa??? She forgets ED has strung the world along and the world is watching. Bob Marley wrote and sang, “You can fool some people sometimes; but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Not everybody can be fooled by ZEC’s new-found preoccupation with the law when their track record has always been that of helping ZANU PF win every election by hook or crook. Chigumba is not helping the ZANU PF cause by being so down-right arrogant and displaying impunity in what she does.

    1. kkk waida kt Wamba a proclaime here

  22. Comment…Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakomurudohamandishe.

  23. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakomurudohamandishe

    Comment…Kana paine zvinoda kugadziriskwa, dayi zvagadzirwawo. Nekuti Mutemo unozobata iwewo mangwana. Kune vaimbotiwo, “ZVIROTO ZVIROTO, ZVIROTO NGAZVISARE MUMAGUMBEZE. VAMWEWO VACHITI KUSTATE HOUSE HAKUNA VACANCY. Kwaiva kupikaka uku. Tichiridza MIPURURU neMHETERWA. yekurumbidza.Nhasi ndeimwewo nyaya, hatichaziva ayirota. Asi kana pasina, ayiwaka, tisapedze nguva. Ngati garoziva kuti, “ZVIUYA ZVIRIMBERI.
    Uye zvichagara ZVIRIMBERI izvo ZVIUYA. Anoziva chete ZVIRIMBERI MBERI kukunda kuziva kwanoita zviroto zvedu ndiSAMASIMBA. Nekudaro, ngatigare takagadzirira nekuti, “ZVIUYA ZVIRIMBERI.”

  24. Comment…Nekuti, amwe bombs maNUCLEAR. Amweni acho ange EARTHQUAKE.

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