Observers raise red flag over elections

INTERNATIONAL observers watching over Zimbabwe’s watershed elections have raised the red flag over the way Monday’s elections were held, although those based in the region largely gave a thumbs-up to the disputed polls.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/VENERANDA LANGA

European Union Election Observer Mission chief observer Elmar Brok, while noting improvements in the political climate and in particular the peace prevailing during the election, said “un-level playing field, intimidation of voters and lack of trust in the process undermined the pre-election environment”.

“These elections were seen as a critical test of Zimbabwe’s reform process. In some senses, up to this point, the conduct of the polls has had a number of positive features, but in other senses, serious concerns remain. Now we hope for a transparent results process,” Brok said.

He urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to speed up the process of announcing the presidential result, indicating this could help increase the credibility of the poll.
“While political rights were largely respected, there were concerns regarding the environment for the polls, the misuse of State resources and the failure to achieve a level playing field.

“Observers reported widely on efforts to undermine the free expression of the will of electors, through inducements, pressure and coercion against prospective voters to try to ensure a vote in favour of the ruling party. Such practices also included attempts to undermine confidence in the secrecy of the vote, and manipulation of food aid and agricultural programmes,” Brok said.

“For Zimbabwe to embrace democracy and move on from the past, such practices must stop.”

The opposition MDC Alliance has cried foul, claiming Zanu PF was abusing agricultural inputs and food aid to coerce villagers to vote for its candidates.

With MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa having declared he would not accept any result that does not favour him, Brok urged all contestants to wait for the results.

“They [candidates] must be optimistic. It is also imperative for all parties to wait for the final result and to remain peaceful throughout,” he said.

The head of the delegation of the European Parliament, Manuel Neuser, weighed in, saying: “These elections are a crucial step — but only a step — in Zimbabwe’s reform process. Elections are not an end in themselves, but an important part of a process of change. People have high hopes for the future and, regardless of who wins, it is the duty of political leaders to work to improve the lives of all citizens.”

The International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) international observer mission and United States said the electoral process failed to meet the mark.

The IRI observer mission, led by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and NDI delegation, led by former Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza, said there was limited transparency, and limited public confidence in the administration of the election.

United States representative and Congresswoman Karen Bass said the manner in which the elections were handled would be pivotal in determining whether the US would change its policy on Zimbabwe or not.

The IRI and NDI said it was the people of Zimbabwe who will ultimately determine the credibility of their elections.
But the African Union, Sadc, Sadc Parliamentary Forum, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) all expressed satisfaction with the way Zec handled the polls.

38 Comments

  1. What would be an eye opener is to ask the fools who condemn our elections how they would handle a violent opposition and control violence when MDC did not obey the laws or police instruction.

    1. Solomon ballsack

      Well we wouldn’t shoot civilians like your government has done… what a bunch of Ediots you are… bottom feeders of the lowest kind. You should be ashamed !

      1. American police shoot civilians everyday! Don’t clamber up some haughty horse when you haven’t got a leg to stand on! The MDC has been agitating for a confrontation for a while, unfortunately they got their wish! As for the Americans, any result which didn’t favour the MDC would have been deemed to not “meet the mark” whatever that is!

      2. Wel said Solomon. I utterly agree with you.

  2. Your Name (required):Special Black

    So should opposition supporters allowed to destroy property so that observers say yes this is democracy? If observers allow this kind of behaviour the world will know no peace because every loser will do the same. we are under sanctions, is that a level playing field? inputs are given to farmers early to the rural people whats wrong about that? The laws and cultural norms of the country should be respected as obserevers you know about it. we are yet to hear observers reports on inciters of violence.

  3. THE MDC SHOULD KNOW THAT HARARE IS ONLY A SMALL PART OF ZIMBABWE , YOU NEED MORE SEATS TO HAVE POLITICAL POWER IN ZIMBABWE .THEY SHOULD STOP ABUSING THESE YOUTHS BY TELLING THEM LIES , CHAMISA LOST IT BIG TIME .

    1. Lt General Triple Threat

      The backdrop to the military coup of Nov 2017 they said they were responding to the public sentiment that Mugabe must go. How come they didnt consult the rural population that had “overwhelmingly” voted in the other Zanu tyrant? Its not convenient to say Harare is a small part. Its people in harare who were invited to the streets to provide the veneer of respectability for the coup was it not?

  4. may our lord look into our situation of zimbabwe we dont want blood shade in our mother land may peace prevail in our country in thor name of Jesus

  5. Real Patriotic Zimbo

    If indeed he Chamisa lost the presidentail vote, then why the delay in announcement of the victor? In sync with ZEC stratergy, they first announced the cooked rural figures during daytime and only started announcing the urban ones at midnight when people were asleep. If indeed ED won, they would have by now made the announcement. Obviously, the cooking process is still ongoing. Unfortunately, it wont be easy this time around. The figures are already known. Shame on you ZANU PF.

    1. Constitutionally ZEC has up to Saturday to anounce the Presidential results. Where is the delay coming from when all agents were invited to verify the returns before publication of the results

      1. You have faith in a flawed system. Why were “STATE” media blocking out opposition parties and tax-paying contesters from putting their ideas across? Are we a one-party state? Does it not shame us as Zimbabweans when we only have to hear or see alternative views on SABC or eNCA, BBC, CNN? The “freedom” sold to Zimbaweans by Zanu PF is a dummy – it has taken the younger generation which has more to lose to bring this out.
        Lastly, what miracles will Zanu PF bring to Zimbabwe when they have beem and are still looting the country for 38 years? Are you blind and deaf to that?

  6. Our elections results were preset months back. The powers that be have had 2 previous elections suitably rigged. This no different.
    Ed and the military wanted a peaceful election so they could appeal for Investment and lifting of the individual sanctions.
    The people know how they voted. Sadly Zimbabwe will stagnate.

    1. Surely people should accept defeat. its ridiculous for MDC to say, they can only accept the results when they have won. What is the purpose of an election then. and the observers are zii about the violence, which I suspect is strongly linked to the MDC-Mugabe/G40 alliance.

      1. Only demagogues will accept these results, that’s not the majority.

  7. Comment… reaction to a situation mostly if you are a trained force is very important,don’t blame anyone the army only.

  8. With MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa having declared he would not accept any result that does not favour him, Brok urged all contestants to wait for the results
    BROK IS BLIND TO THE INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS BY CHAMISA.
    We want credible observes and not this attempt to justify continued flogging of Harare, now that land reform is spreading across SADC.

  9. I think EU has an agenda maybe that was the reason Mugabe banned them they love to see Africans savaging each other, Chamisa was preaching violence even in his campaigning and no observers are talking about it why? you observers. We can now see your intentions.

  10. No wonder we are regarded as a Banana Nation. We fail to see how the system has failed to deliver to its people for decades. No jobs opportunities so we flee to neighbouring countries for employment, no hospitals unless you can afford private care, no infrastructure, education system is dead, no cash so we depend on those in the diaspora the list is endless and we see this as being developed. We have become too comfortable living in poverty while the rest of the world advances very sad #Zimbabwe

  11. No wonder we are regarded as a Banana Nation. We fail to see how the system has failed to deliver to its people for decades. No jobs opportunities so we flee to neighbouring countries for employment, no hospitals unless you can afford private care, no infrastructure, education system is dead, no cash so we depend on those in the diaspora the list is endless and we see this as being developed. We have become too comfortable living in poverty while the rest of the world advances very sad #Zimbabwe

  12. Chakakosha at this time is for people to remain calm and wait for ZEC to announce the result then if they are any issues pogadzirwa. imagine kuti Chamisa akanzi ahwina ipo pakatodeuka ropa in the name of rigging anozonwawo sei

  13. Comment…Kana MDC-A isirikugutsikana nezvabuda musarudzo yadiyi kutora matanho anoenderana neBumbiro reMutemo wenyika
    Kana izvozvo zvaramba, zvingadiyi kuti nengo dzavo MPs neKanzuraz vobuda muDare reParamende nemuKanzuru. Popinda vanoda zvavo, nyika yoenda mberi. Nekuti kazhinji muzviitiko zvemutowo uyu, chinopfudzirwa uskwa handira dzichirwa. Vatungamiriri vezvematongerwo enyika, kurudzirayi RUNYARARO munyika veduwe. Uye muzviitiko zvakadayi hozheri andidzo dzinofa
    kana kukuvara. veduwe, RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWANGU. RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWAKO. RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWEDU TOSE. Zvadaro,RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARAWO RUGARE NERUFARO, MUFARO munyika. Mavara mana aya akakosha, R.U.D.O “L.O.V.E.” Chikuru nakare kuti, KUWIRIRANAKWANAKAKUGARAKUNZWANANA GARANEWAKOMURUDOHAMANDISHE. Jehovah, ndimi munogara kudenga, denga repasi rose, pindirayi SAMASIMBA. Batayi mweya yose yakaipa Mwari. Ndimi Tangakugara, Muwanikwa uye Chidzivachepo. MWARI!!!! MWARI!!!! MWARI!!!!

  14. Kana MDC-A isirikugutsikana nezvabuda musarudzo yadiyi kutora matanho anoenderana neBumbiro reMutemo wenyika Kana izvozvo zvaramba, zvingadiyi kuti nengo dzavo MPs neKanzuraz vobuda muDare reParamende nemuKanzuru. Popinda vanoda zvavo, nyika yoenda mberi. Nekuti kazhinji muzviitiko zvemutowo uyu, chinopfudzirwa uskwa handira dzichirwa. Vatungamiriri vezvematongerwo enyika, kurudzirayi RUNYARARO munyika veduwe. Uye muzviitiko zvakadayi hozheri andidzo dzinofa
    kana kukuvara. veduwe, RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWANGU. RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWAKO. RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARWA NERUDO RWEDU TOSE. Zvadaro,RUNYARARO RWUNOZVARAWO RUGARE NERUFARO, MUFARO munyika. Mavara mana aya akakosha, R.U.D.O “L.O.V.E.” Chikuru nakare kuti, KUWIRIRANAKWANAKAKUGARAKUNZWANANA GARANEWAKOMURUDOHAMANDISHE. Jehovah, ndimi munogara kudenga, denga repasi rose, pindirayi SAMASIMBA. Batayi mweya yose yakaipa Mwari. Ndimi Tangakugara, Muwanikwa uye Chidzivachepo. MWARI!!!! MWARI!!!! MWARI!!!!

  15. The eu is biased in their report. That’s why bob used bar observers from Europe.

    1. The EU is thorough and fair. What can one expect from SADC and AU – that’s why Africa is at the bottom of the ladder!!

  16. Lt General Triple Threat

    Its a farce, AU and SADC are not fit for purpose they cant even respect their own guidelines. Any foreign investor that comes to Zimbabwe under this military government and looses their money has no one to blame but themselves. These people are not committed to reforms and putting the country on the path to recovery. Kleptocracy is all they know. They will certainly not reform themselves out of power. Now they have 2/3 majority to change the constitution however they please. With one centre of power in Zanu those MPs will be used to endorse whatever whim defacto President Mr Chiwenga and his puppet want.

  17. I don’t know what proportion of professional, tax-paying voters believe in Zanu PF and all of its appointed officials. I’m not one of them, haven’t been since 1983 when their violence put me off.

    If you are one of those who have faith in these people, you will have patience with them – so not everyone has that patience.

    We have a very dangerous situation on the ground, the impatience of young voters (who have only been exposed to the rigging now and chosen to react directly and promptly)….if ED had won they would have broadcast the news on their Zanu PF radio and tv stations, their Zanu PF newspapers and loudly too. The delays are to facilitate rigging which will not conflict with the number of voters for the other two elections.
    Even foreigners are asking themselves why would a person vote for a people that impoverish them and intimidates and coerces them over and over again. Why? Those with no or little capacity for critical analysis, such simple questions never crop up.

  18. Political leaders who will be found guilty of inciting violence in this election SHOULD be barred from participating in ANY future election

    1. If we still have a country in 5 years’ time!!

  19. Thumbs up to the European Union Observer Team as well as the Americans for being objective.This election was free on voting day but it lacks fairness and credibility.

  20. Tangai Tanhuke

    Nhai hama dzangu; voters are REGISTERED! That means their number is KNOWN. The total number of cast votes in an election should therefore be EQUAL TO/OR LESS THAN THAT NUMBER {considering spoilt papers or possible apathy within registered voter number]. If the total number of cast votes EXCEEDS the NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS that becomes a “miracle!” Take note that results are announced in NUMBERS! How then do you tell the winner from the loser? You COMPARE THE NUMBERS! SO, this process MUST START from the beginning ;that is; from THE NUMBER OF REGISTERD VOTERS THRUGHOUT THE WHOLE PROCESS! otherwise, WHY bother to register the voters first if ONLY THE NUMBER OF CAST VOTES were important!!???? Ambuya vangu chaivo kumusha uko; {I mean, amai vamai(and Iam 40)] vanoziva kuti kana vaine 2 bhobho; vakagaisa shereni; vanosarirwa neshereni! Ko imi MAKAITWA SEI; kukundwa nambuya vangu vasina kuenda kuchikoro asi VAKAFUNDA!

  21. tendai chaminuka

    What a far fetched reason Mr Brok,the Presidential Input scheme has always been there and it all shows that your report had one source of information which is the opposition.Have mercy on Zimbabwean people at least give them a credit for conducting a peaceful Election.Very few Zimbabweans watch the NATIONAL Television

  22. Kushaya Zanu nehutsinye chete,kutonga kwaro

  23. These so called Observers can pack and go home. There is no democracy in your countries. EU you hate africans and depot them daily under the guise of illegal immigrants. Just leave us to sort our lives. ED you can deal with other countries that see us as we are.
    ED, Chiwenga keep Zimbabwellag flying.

  24. Comment…The EU observers were spot on. The Sadcc and AU observers are just coming to observe the whole process and learn how to rig their own elections when they go back to their own countries. Elections in their own countries have had very little credibility over the years.

  25. Comment…How can trained and armed soldiers fire on innocent unarmed civilians who were exercising their democratic right to demonstrate . I am very disappointed in the Zimbabwe National Army. It used to be a very professional army and it was the best in Africa before they decided to join politics. They were the envy of the whole of Africa . Why didn’t they use rubber bullets or tear gas or water cannons instead of cutting down innocent civilians or demonstrators with automatic weapons .

  26. Government programmes do not stop because there is an election.

  27. Comment… Guys in our country we dont have politicians who had people at heart, they are like gumblers all they need is money. To whom you can finger point and says that one he is really have people at heart? Who had great love to share even a single bean falls on the ground? Our politicians spents thousands of dollars paying for pleasure to satisfy themselves while there are most of people who are living life which is the same as of an animal, close to unbearable. Guys you wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word suffering unless you saw what they had to endure. There is a handful of people still profited from the suffering of the majority, the sorrow of the many being the joy of the few? How can we say we are indipendent if our own blacks leaders are busy robbing us. lets woke up Zw from the dreams of the past which says only whites are colonists. Too much fear breads misery dear family. We should reject an kind of injustice Zimbabweans not by violence Thank you!!

  28. Comment… Guys in our country we dont have politicians who had people at heart, they are like gumblers all they need is money. To whom you can finger point and says that one he is really have people at heart? Who had great love to share even a single bean falls on the ground? Our politicians spents thousands of dollars paying for pleasure to satisfy themselves while there are most of people who are living life which is the same as of an animal, close to unbearable. Guys you wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word suffering unless you saw what they had to endure. There is a handful of people still profited from the suffering of the majority, the sorrow of the many being the joy of the few? How can we say we are indipendent if our own blacks leaders are busy robbing us. lets woke up Zw from the dreams of the past which says only whites are colonists. Too much fear breads misery dear family. We should reject an kind of injustice
    not by violence Thank you!!

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