Soldiers, cops to vote on Sunday

HARARE - Soldiers and police officers — who in 2008 voted under the watchful eye of their commanders — will on Sunday and Monday exercise their democratic right to vote freely after electoral authorities removed polling stations from barracks and police stations.

Rita Makarau, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson said observers are welcome to monitor the special voting for the uniformed forces which will take place on July 14 and 15, two weeks before the crunch polls set for July 31.

As of Monday, Zec, the commission in charge of electoral processes in the country, had received 87 000 applications from the police, the army and the Zimbabwe Prison Services.

The Zec boss said 60 000 police officers applied for special voting.

Co-Home Affairs minister Teresa Makone has said the force does not have more than 40 000 officers.

Appearing before Parliament earlier in February ahead of a referendum, Innocent Matibiri, police deputy commissioner-general (operations), disclosed that the force was going to recruit 10 000 officers in order to complement the 40 000 police officers. 

“Our polling stations are not going to be in barracks,” said Makarau. “Some are at schools or at community halls but no polling station is within a barrack.”

As the country hurtles towards the crucial elections, Zec has already established 209 special polling stations. Processing of applications for special voting is underway.

In the 2008 poll, members of the uniformed forces complained that they were forced to vote under supervision from their superiors at army camps or police stations.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri has been at the forefront of resisting the changes, writing to co-Home Affairs ministers, Kembo Mohadi and Makone on July 26 last year protesting against the agreed electoral reforms.

But despite fierce resistance, Zec has forged ahead, designing a new voting system for armed forces that seeks to secure their vote.

The new requirements are in line with amendments made to the Electoral Act, which have attracted angry denunciations from top commanders.

 

Comments (7)

"60 000 police officers applied for special voting"...the minister responsible and mzukuru police deputy commissioner-general seem to agree that they have circa 40K. Where is the 20K coming from? Ghost voters!!!

Joe - 9 July 2013

Chihuri the Juice is scared that his party is facing imminent defeat hence the resistance. kikikiki. Chickens will come home to roust. Start looking for a "New home" papa.

Zvichapera Chete - 9 July 2013

Biti, please insist to see the payroll of police officers of the past three months to ascertain how many police officers and army personnel we have. I strongly doubt we have over 60,000 police officers. Reservists should not be counted as police officers because they are part time and voluntary. Police officers should be construed to be those with a contract of employment with the ZRP.

Gondobwe - 9 July 2013

You lost it on this one DN. All military personnel are voting in Schools of their choice and there wont be any commander watching them because in the same queues will be civil servants who shall be polling officers. This time its different.

Gamuchirayi - 10 July 2013

Whilst ZEC this time seems to be a bit transparent in abolition barrack votes, What matters now is where will these votes be stored up to the 31st. Secondly who will do the posting and transportation of these votes to their various WARDS. Will all the party agents be present in all these processess. If non of the questions is answered. Definitely this is another rigged vote.

Henure - 10 July 2013

Why ARE SOLDIERS ALSO VOTING ON THAT DAY? WILL ALL OF THEM BE ON DUTY 31ST? WHERE? As polling officers!? HERE? Interesting? Pane nyaya, BATAI MUNHU? HOW WILL YOU PREVENT THEM FROM VOTING AGAIN COME 31? Vanhu ava vaiVHOTA TWICE Mrs Makarau in previous elections including voting day. TRUE. PROFESSIONAL SOLDIERS, POLICEMEN AND MAGADI JERES VOTE WISELY DON'T LISTEN TO THE SO CALLED PARTISAN "COMMANDERS". CHOOSE A CANDIDATE OF YOUR OWN CHOICE WHO WILL LEAD THE COUNTRY THE WAY YOU PERSONALLY WANT PERIOD. THIS WILL BE A SECRET BALLOT. REMEMBER WE FACED THE SOME HARDSHIPS TOGETHER 2001/9. HENCE MOST OF YOUR CDES DESERTED? WHY? NOW IN SA, YOU WILL JOIN THEM IF YOU ARE NOT VERY CAREFUL. DON'T BE USED A SOLDIER WILL REMAIN A SOLDIER IN ANY GOVT.

THE URGLY - 10 July 2013

They should be kept under lock and key and guarded everyday, coz they Zanu can temper with them and stuff them with Millions of Mugabe Votes!!! and reseal them!! gwendo guno hazvikoni!!!!!!

Musharukwa - 10 July 2013

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