Army, police to help Zec despite denials

AS the furore around Zimbabwe’s viciously-fought election continues, police have revealed the army might still be called upon to provide logistical support for the month-end polls.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Police’s elections committee commander Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza told journalists yesterday that the army would only provide transport in exceptional circumstances.

“The transportation of ballot materials is the responsibility of Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission]. Our role is to provide security and ensure that we maintain law and order. When ballot material is being transported from point A to B, there is nothing that stops Zec from requesting police to provide security,” Makodza said.

“The army is not involved in the escorting of ballot materials. Unless in exceptional circumstances, where motor vehicles cannot access and we need air transportation, there is a provision that Zec can request for the services (of the army), but obviously, the police will be there to provide security.”

His remarks flew in the face of Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, who on Monday declared that the military would have no role in the transportation of material for the upcoming elections.

Chigumba claimed that only the printers of ballot material would be responsible for the transportation of election material.

Makodza said police remained disturbed by rampant tearing down of candidates’ campaign posters, intimidation as well as the emergency of “no-go areas”.

“We have also received reports of rival supporters forcing each other to remove regalia or even going to the point of forcing them to wear their chosen regalia against their consent. We have minimal cases of intra- and inter-party political violence. What is interesting is that there are more cases of intra-party than inter-party violence. These are, however, manageable because we have managed to arrest 95% of the perpetrators,” he said.

“In some places, there are groups of people going about claiming ownership of specific areas and declaring them no-go areas for other contestants. That is totally unacceptable and criminal. The police will deal with all political malpractices without fear of favour.”

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said cases of inter- and intra-party violence had been minimal.


She also ruled out politics in the death of a three-year-old minor from Mazowe last month, saying investigations so far indicated that the crime was not politically-related, although the deceased’s father is a parliamentary candidate for the Joice Mujuru-led People’s Rainbow Coalition.

3 Comments

  1. Takesure Zvazviri

    What a poor journalist, your topic contradicts with the contents of this paper, you have correctly highlight that Army will chip in extreme circumstances, that if air transportation is neeeded only. Here is a quote from your article, “The army is not involved in the escorting of ballot materials. Unless in exceptional circumstances, where motor vehicles cannot access and we need air transportation, there is a provision that Zec can request for the services (of the army), but obviously, the police will be there to provide security.”

    1. It just means English is a problem to you. ZEC chairperson had said army was not going to be involved. and newspaper is telling us that its possible that army will come in despite DENIALS from ZEC. Read to understand not to criticise.

  2. Tichingotonga Vachingovukura

    Maybe the reporter is expecting Zec to charter a helicopter from a foreign air line in such circumstances. The next thing is that they will blame zec for abuse of public funds

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