Playing field was not level: Commonwealth observers

THE Commonwealth elections observer group led by former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama yesterday raised the red flag on Monday’s elections, saying their team had observed cases of intimidation using food aid and traditional leaders to galvanise support, as well as the huge number of assisted voters.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

In their preliminary statement report, the observers urged the leadership of political parties to demonstrate commitment to democracy, calm and tolerance.

The Commonwealth castigated Wednesday’s violent scenes involving MDC Alliance supporters. Mahama said it was unnecessary for Zimbabwe’s army to use force which resulted in the death of civilians.

“During our briefings and through our observations, we noted the use of incumbency to gain undue advantage, including the use of food aid and the role of traditional leaders in galvanising support for the governing party in a manner that may be described as a form of intimidation,” Mahama said.

“In one province, our team witnessed a concerning situation relating to the above issue which we will review more closely in our final report.”

Mahama said they were deeply concerned about the loss of civilian lives when protesters clashed with armed police and the military.

“In terms of civilian manifestations there are rules of engagement and circumstances in which live ammunition is used against citizens – I do not think that is right and we denounce the violent demonstrations that took place, but at the same time we do not think it is good to use excessive force on civilians,” he said.

“You do not use live ammunition on demonstrators, you use other forms like teargas, and we believe use of force was excessive.”

On media coverage during the elections, Mahama said it was tilted in favour of the ruling party.

“The State broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation had a patent tilt in coverage in favour of the governing party. There was disproportionate coverage for the governing party, Zanu PF in State-owned or controlled media including the ZBC and the Herald. This imbalance in coverage started well before the campaign began.”


The Commonwealth said they noted that public confidence in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission needed to be strengthened.

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13 Comments

  1. Ngwangwangwa Garwe Crocodile ‘Ahaha’- Pfeeeeeeeeeeee

  2. Ngwangwangwa Garwe Crocodile ‘Ahaha’- Pfeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Nerisoni ‘Mbovha Yemufaro’ Chisa – Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  3. Comment…KANA ZVAKADORO, VEMAPATO ANOKWIKWIDZA VAKAKUNDA NGAVAGARE VASIYA ZVIGARO. NEKUTI KANA VACHITI
    NHANDARE YAKANGA ISINA KURURAMA NHASI, UYE KUBVIRA NEZURO, PAVANEZENGE VOSHANDA VOSE MUDARE REPARAMENDE NHANDARE ICHAZENGE YARURAMA HERE KANA KWETE? PACHANGOTAURWA ZVIMWECHETEZVO. APA VATOGARA VARIVASHOMA. SAKA GARAYI MASIYA, KUSARE VAKAPFEKA ZVINOENDERANA NENDARE. KWETE KUZONYAUDZA MOTI MURIKUSARUDZWA PAKUPIWA ZVEKUSHANDISA. BVA GARAYI MASIYA HAMAWE. MAKWIKWI APERE NGUVA ICHIPO. ZVINO ZVOENDA MBERI, KANA ZVICHIMIRA ZVOMIRA, POWONEKWA ZVINENGE ZVAMISA. KANA ZVICHIGARIKA, ZVOGADZIRWA.

  4. KANA ZVAKADORO, VEMAPATO ANOKWIKWIDZA VAKAKUNDA NGAVAGARE VASIYA ZVIGARO. NEKUTI KANA VACHITI NHANDARE YAKANGA ISINA KURURAMA NHASI, UYE KUBVIRA NEZURO, PAVANEZENGE VOSHANDA VOSE MUDARE REPARAMENDE NHANDARE ICHAZENGE YARURAMA HERE KANA KWETE? PACHANGOTAURWA ZVIMWECHETEZVO. APA VATOGARA VARIVASHOMA. SAKA GARAYI MASIYA, KUSARE VAKAPFEKA ZVINOENDERANA NENDARE. KWETE KUZONYAUDZA MOTI MURIKUSARUDZWA PAKUPIWA ZVEKUSHANDISA. BVA GARAYI MASIYA HAMAWE. MAKWIKWI APERE NGUVA ICHIPO. ZVINO ZVOENDA MBERI, KANA ZVICHIMIRA ZVOMIRA, POWONEKWA ZVINENGE ZVAMISA. KANA ZVICHIGARIKA, ZVOGADZIRWA.

    1. we are th ppie

  5. Comment…Mr Mahama Sir, be informed of the fact that The main opposition players lobbied for sanctions to punish Zimbabwe so as to tilt the playing field in the opposition’s advantage.

    we also have the elderly who grew up during the colonial era in an environment which deprived them of the chance to attain literacy. That generation also has the right vote like any other Zimbabwean.

  6. Clopas Zwizwai

    These ZANU gandangas thought that they could fool all the people all the time. This time they will be exposed big time. More revelations will come out.

  7. Fobben Matienga

    Tshisa mpama tshisa. The crocodile will sweat. More revelations are coming.

  8. Your Name (required):Special Black

    MDCA supporters were number one intimidators including its president. they requested sanctions to be extended so that people suffer and reject ZANU PF. MDCA councilors employ youth and old age casual labours from their supporters only, is that fair there is lot we can tell you.

  9. You can rig an election, you cannot rig the economy.

  10. jmoyo@yahoo.com

    The trend shows that except for the biased and corrupt SADC no observers will recognise this election as free fair and credible. We mourn for the 6 peace loving Zimbabweans who were murdered by the regime.

  11. Elections which ZANU PF stole should be declared null and void. ZANU PF should be stricken with punitive sanctions only targeted at ZANU PF officails.

  12. Vendor MunaFirst

    Zambia is better in terms of democracy, these gandangas and mabhinya aya should rest. its no longer colonial era its now time for new leadership. the problem with those who vote for zanu its either they are benefiting from corruption, nepotism, stealing,kuromba etc. nevamwewo vajaira nhamo(those who cannot think beyond kurara muimba yeuswa). vision has been stolen from these people. kuvaudza kuti kune spagetti road or bullet train they say hakuna zvakadaro. yet our neighbouring countries already have. its pathetic.

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