Special vote chaos persists

HARARE - High Court judge George Chiweshe has deferred a ruling on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party application to prevent a special vote by security and electoral officers to Wednesday.

The judge president deferred the case to pave way for negotiations between the parties involved.

The urgent chamber application filed last Friday cites Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), co-ministers of Home Affairs Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi, police chief Augustine Chihuri and Finance minister Tendai Biti as respondents.

Lawyer Harrison Nkomo told the Daily News the case was heard in chambers and postponed.

“There are very sensitive negotiations going on between MDC and Zec lawyers to reach an amicable agreement),” Nkomo said.

“The negotiations are not for public consumption, so the matter was deferred to Wednesday.”

Morgan Komichi, MDC deputy national chairman, said in the application, that the number of officers who applied to participate in the special voting exercise had been vastly inflated.

Komichi asked the High Court to stop the special two-day vote, saying the 69 000 police officers who applied to vote on Sunday and yesterday were way above the 44 133 officers shown on a ministry of Finance salary schedule for the whole country.

“Applicants have it on good authority that 1st respondent (Zec) intends to allow 69 222 persons to vote via the special ballot yet the official number of persons under 3rd respondent’s (Chihuri) command does not exceed 44 113 in terms of information from 2nd respondent (Makone and Mohadi), who is their employer and 4th respondent (Biti) who is the minister of Finance,” says Komichi in his application.

Komichi said Chihuri had refused to explain the disparities, despite an MDC request.

In the alternative, Komichi said the court is requested to direct Zec to set up mechanisms by which the special voting exercise shall be transparent.

Meanwhile the vote by security and electoral officials continued on Monday, with the Zimbabwe Election Support Unit (Zesn) saying the chaotic scenes that blighted the two-day special vote was a harbinger of worse things to come in the July 31 harmonised elections unless government avails resources to the Zec.

Zesn is a civic society organisation that monitors electoral processes in the country.

Solomon Zwana, Zesn board chairperson, expressed concern with “several incidents of intimidation and arrests of human rights campaigners” who were involved in civic voter education.

“We are concerned that with only 16 days to the harmonised elections, this shoddy state of affairs could impact on Zec’s preparedness to fully manage the election process on July 31,” Zwana said.

“We urge that adequate resources are availed to Zec to ensure that the organisation carries its constitutionally mandated duties.”

Zec, an independent commission responsible for running and conducting electoral processes in the country, has been crippled by a lack of funding amid revelations from the Finance ministry that government does not have the resources to fund elections.

Zec’s ill-preparedness for the watershed elections came to the fore, as police officers who constituted the majority of those who have applied for special voting, were either turned away or found their names absent from the register as logistical challenges blighted the poll.

Questions have been raised over Zec’s preparedness for polls that will involve 6,2 million people when the body failed to handle less than 100 000 people.

Zesn’s observers also noted that some senior police officers were bringing different versions of the voters roll, including handwritten one, which was inconsistent with the national roll.

Comments (18)

How can they say two days is not enough for just less than 90 000 people when they expect 6 000 000 to vote in one day !!!! Story of our lives !!!! And how can an assistant commissioner Charity Charamba go on national tv and blatantly accuse the MDC of being responsible for the delays in printing of ballot papers , is it the MDC' fault that Zanu rushed into an election which are hardly prepared for ? Her statement just goes to show how partisan the ZRP top brass is !!!!

XYZ - 16 July 2013

Zec 's allocation of polling stations is bound to cause chaos come election day. I want to believe that the allocation was done in consideration of the voter population in each province. But there seems to be a discrepancy. Mash West has a voter population of 656036 and was allocated 1303 polling stations. This translates to a ratio of 1 to 503 per polling station.503 is the number of voters who are going to be served by each polling station in 12hrs in Mash west. In Harare province the voting population is 798264 and has 830 polling stations.The ratio in Harare is 1 to 962. On average 962 people are going to be served by each polling station in 12 hrs.This translates to 80 voters being served in an hour which is about one voter for every minute non stop. Is this possible? Why the discrepancy? ZEC should use the same ratio for the whole country. Polling stations in Harare will be congested and many potential voters will fail to vote.Zec should address this issue otherwise this is rigging at play. Harare is perceived to be an MDC stronghold while Mash West is a ZANU PF stronghold.The same thing seems to obtain for Bulawayo which has a ratio of 1 to 795. The second highest after Harare.

Jaku - 16 July 2013

What do you expect from Charity Charamba who was merely elevated into that office due to gender equality issues otherwise she does not deserve to be in that position. I have been following her reports and it is a big shame that she is very partisan in politics instead of being professional. She should just take the same route which her mentor Wayne Bvudzijena did. Sick of these unprofessional civil servants!

Chisingapere Chinoshura - 16 July 2013

Other parties must make sure everybody who wants to vote should vote even if it means throuout the night because ZEC is being abused here. I have always had doubts on Makarau and Kazembe these two silly women have had questionable behaviours in their lives and cannot be trusted with such an important event. Their CVs are dirty.

wamaromo - 16 July 2013

ZEC full of shit. Two days for a handful of people and six million have 12hours common sense is not all that common. They will try everything change is coming.

Justice - 16 July 2013

Who is going to police who when the spokesperson accuse one side of the government?

Doode - 16 July 2013

All parties have all been aware of the constitution and the time permitted in which to hold elections- if MDC-T haven't got their act together bad luck. It is just about wasting time and money, whether more people vote of not is irrebvelant surely as they will vote the same way in any election - just simply a waste of time and money

infairness - 16 July 2013

To hell with this stupid zanupf police spokeswoman CHIHURI tells them what to do. he is also a ZANUPF political commissor shame on them but guys lets all come out on 31 july and burry these zanupolice thugs.

EARTHQUAKE31JULY - 16 July 2013

Chikutu chekuZANU,...sorry ZRP chechikadzi ichi, chichangoramba chichigwauta kusvika chatizwa navanatenzi after 31 July. Ndopachichangopepereka nesango not to be ever heard of again.

Semhalo - 16 July 2013

is it just my eyes or does this Charamba look like the vice president?

hezvoko - 16 July 2013

George Chiweshe deferred his ruling...! He is the same judge who stole Tsvangirayi's victory in 2008. Do not expect anything new. Judgement will be delivered in September 2013

never dhliwayo - 16 July 2013

No where to run.!! Its time for absolute change!

Roy Gono - 16 July 2013

Chiweshe it seems you are educated but practically you are a yes boss man. As a judge do what you leaned not asking another person what to do. Unofunga kuti Zanu ndiyo inochengeta chete... Why do you favor ZANA ra PF... How can we vote for those few hours and these so called special people are voting for more than two days... We need more days to vote. My follow Zimbabweans please vote wisely ...MDC T ndizvo.

Chinobhururuka Chinomhara - 16 July 2013

charity is singing for her last supper. She is an extension of George (babam ukuru) . She rckons the special vte is all zpf. will be shocked at the rslts

bvuma - 16 July 2013

I thought ZEC boss Rita Makarau said that ZEC was in fact prepared for the 31 July elections. Did she mean the chaos that chatacterised the two day special voting. Guys lets be serious.

Mambo - 16 July 2013

Sadc has the last laugh. Ryt now they ae asking. DIDNT WE TELL YOU TO POSTPONE THE ELECTION FOR TWO WEEKS.

GORA - 16 July 2013

Ha ha Zanu-pf wants to plant its on people in ZEC for 31 July. The recent chaos will be a reason for this. I think this was deliberate.

Young Leader - 17 July 2013

vana ndakubata havafanire kuvhota.

jurist - 18 July 2013

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