Zec special vote statement

HARARE - Below we publish the full statement released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) after allegations by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC that Special Vote ballots cast in his favour were found dumped in dustbins at the elections National Command Centre:

Lost Special Vote Ballot paper: Complaint against Mr. Morgan Komichi of MDC-T.

On 25 July 2013, Mr Morgan Komichi of MDC-T approached the Chief Elections Officer of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission alleging that someone had picked up a sealed tamper-proof envelope with special vote ballot papers enclosed.

Mr Komichi handed over the envelope to the Chief Elections Officer who has since retained the envelope and its contexts.

In his narration, Mr Komichi said that the envelope had been handed over to him by a person he would not name.

The said unnamed person allegedly informed Mr Komichi that he or she had picked up the envelope from a dust bin at the HICC where the special vote was being processed.

Mr Komichi further alleged that he had been informed that this was one of several such “lost” envelopes.

The envelope was allegedly picked up in the morning of the 23rd of July 2013.

The person who allegedly picked up the envelope did not report the matter to the Commission or to the Police.

Mr Komichi could not explain why the person who picked up the ballot chose to report to him about this matter.

Mr Komichi volunteered to the meeting that the tamper-proof envelope was sealed when it was handed over to him.

On being quizzed why he then opened this envelope which he knew contained ballot papers, Mr Morgan Komichi admitted that he had opened the envelope because he was curious. 

Not only did Mr Komichi open the tamper proof envelope but he proceeded to open the brown envelope containing the three ballot papers which he alleges were marked in favour of his party’s candidates.

Our investigations reveal that indeed the envelope and ballot papers were allocated to a voter whose name was recorded on the tamper-proof envelope.

Such voter was supposed to have voted at Mt Pleasant Hall special voting centre but he did not vote on either the 14th or 15th of July 2013.  

The voter said when he presented himself to the polling officers, he was turned away as his envelope could not be located.

The Commission wishes to register its concerns at the manner in which Mr Komichi handled this matter.

Firstly, he took a day to bring this matter to the attention of the Commission and only did so after attaching copies of the ballot papers in his opposition to the application by the Commission in the Constitutional Court. 

Secondly, we are clear that the ballots were not marked by the voter and cannot have been marked in the polling station as the ballots do not bear the secret mark of the presiding officer of the polling station.

Thirdly and more telling, if the ballots had been marked by the voter, they would not have remained sealed in the tamperproof envelope as this had to be broken open first by the presiding officer to retrieve the brown envelope in which the ballot papers were enclosed to give the voter.

The story given to us by Mr Komichi is not credible and accordingly we have severe reservations regarding the details he provided to the Commission.

We have therefore handed over the matter to the Police for investigation.



Comments (20)

If these are ballot papers that are to be used, whether marked nor not, its the responsibility of ZEC to tell the nation where are the other ballots if we are now kicking them from bins yet ZEC is the custodian of the nation's ballot.

Mjamo - 27 July 2013

I Thought unused ballot papers should in a secure place so these ballot papers from the dustbin where are they coming from, ZEC should give us answer

nchindo - 27 July 2013

is this a way of instilling fear so that people do not report misdemenours of ZEC in future. Rita, u, Joyce, Sekeramai or any of your sidekicks are not infallible. We are not dumb squibs.

Chirandu - 27 July 2013

ZEC shouldnt be shifting blame and asking all these questions. The key question is why should an authentic ballot paper, used or not, be found floating around in this way? This is stark evidence the security of ballot papers is not just there which by extension makes rigging a real possibility. The custody of ballot papers is your responsibility ZEC and the way things stand now, its not looking good.

Zimcitizen - 27 July 2013

why is ZEC complaining against someone who brings property which was supposed to be in their custody? the issue here is not how Komichi handled the matter. it is how the envelope left ZEC's custody, full stop!!!!!!!!!!!!

Black Crow - 27 July 2013

ZEC are to blame because the custody of all ballot papers is their sole responsibility. They should, instead, commend Leader Morgan Komichi for bringing this anomaly to their attention. Zimbabweans require credible, transparent , free and fair elections and look upon ZEC to ensure this is realised. Being on the defensive does not absove ZEC from their culpability.

Chief Philip Charumbira - 27 July 2013

Zec are not telling us the truth about this matter.How did this envelope find its way out of the polling station if it was not in the ballot box?Zec should tell us the status of this person vis-a-vis the voters roll.Assuming every policemen voted the MDc the Zec CIOs are trying to get even by throwing away ballot boxes.

Squarebasher - 27 July 2013

The buck stops at ZEC period. As others stated above, ZEC should not cast aspersions on Mr. Komichi, it must tell us why ballots were found in a bin.

Gondobwe - 27 July 2013

ZEC is a rigger

Joseph - 27 July 2013

Mugabe himself after being cornered in Zambia said these words " We happen to know that most of the ruling parties do not win cleanly too. I hope you are not going to force to reveal certain details..." That was him indicating that it was not just ZPF that rigged, everyone was doing it.

Gora - 27 July 2013

mairasa machinja Komichi has a case to answer pple shld not their positions in ZEC to still ballot papers create stupid allegations. Unfortunately u failed to plan your case properly mapurisa batai munhu. EVEN GRADE ONE PUPIL CAN TELL KUTI THIS IS A POORLY PLANNED GAME

tsvangirai - 27 July 2013

The responsibility lies with ZEC to ensure the security of every vote.This definitely shows that the rigging door is ope. Sadc pliz take note and have this in your report.This is sickening,no wonder we wii never progress

Chimpunu - 27 July 2013

ZEC is the rigging machine and now they want to pass the blame. Anyone who picks a ballot paper now would be curious and ZEC are blaming this on Komichi's curiosity and still acept that its a genuine ballot paper - ZEC is to blame.

chemedzanemburungwe - 27 July 2013

Ko kana munhu a shaya envelop yake achida kuvhota imi muchizivakuti yanga iripo pabatch renyu munoita sei nhai mai Makarau. Zvaisareva here kuti maitodiscover the anomally and start investigating until when it was discovered in whatever way. Rigging can not be ruled away when things are like this. Thank you vana baba jukwa Vava kuziva kuti munotoshanda navo muZEC imomo. ZEC yanyadzisa nyika na President vedu.

Tavonga Chivara - 27 July 2013

Here is what possibly happened. The idea was to delegitimize any claims of rigging and so the CIO gave this genuine ballot paper to Komichi. ZEC is playing the game accordingly and is trying to discredit Komichi. Unfortunately the plan has gone horribly wrong. This is supposed to have been a fake ballot. Now the mud is on ZEC and the CIO because this genuine ballot discredits the whole ballot custodial system. Question, how many ballots are out there floating? Can this be a free and fair election.

Chipikiri - 27 July 2013

X picks an envelope. Does not know which party the person has voted for. Gives envelope to MK who opens it and sees a favorable MDC(T) vote. MK then reports and X does not have to be known. Describing words" It stinks". Where is the evidence? MDC(T) lawyers would you take such nonsense to the International Criminal Court?

muvengwa munondivengerei - 27 July 2013

You know i always laugh at these stupid allegations and the underestimating how good our CIO are, to stoop so low to do a shoddy job like that . Its the Mdc who implanted that envelope just to discredit the whole process . Why are the Mdc so afraid of Elections , i thought they should be happy to remove Mugabe from from power ? The elections are here and there is no turning back , Biti tried to play around with the funding issue and there he was announcing that the country now have the money . I feel sorry for those who are voting for these guys coz the leadership of the party don`t seem to have faith in itself

lester - 27 July 2013

You ask why these papers wer ina bin in the first place,you are labelled a liar and you are arrested! ZANU PF is so unrepented.I wish Zimbabweans would see through these machinations and show them the middle finger.I wish Zimbabweans would see that this country is not only for us,but for those unborn.I believe Zimbabwe will go down in history as the country with the highest literacy rate in Africa but the lowest political literacy.Many of our people are still gullible.You wonder kuti after 2008, someone still thinks kuti Mugabe and ZANU are the saviours.After 33 years of looting ,persecution and intimidation someone still puts faith in ZANU.Evrything is viewed in terms of imperialism.This bull**** must stop.Inini l will have no sympathy to those who will complain if they vote these idiots into power again.Some don't just bother to vote and they expect things to change.

Nadaramba - 28 July 2013

Firstly Mr. Komichi is a mature politician and therefore to say he got the papers from an undisclosed person is really naïve. We have SADC, COMESA,AU, etc he should have immediately advised ZEC in the presence of observers, police and the press. At the same time launching a complaint to the Concourt. Therefore the matter should be relentlessly be investigated and the law must take its course. Nadaramba - You say "ZANU PF is unrepent" where do ZANU PF fit in the story of the found ballot papers? You allege Zimbabweans have the lowest political literacy? You suffer from a lot of political disillusion and actually you exhibit in ability to accept the situation you find yourself in. You assumption of better maturity politically is dismaying to say the least. This bull**** must stop. Imperialism to you does not mean anything - you must have lost yourself if you are a Zimbabwean at all. Do you see whats happening in Egypit, Syria, Lybia, Mali,Afaganstan etc. Do you eyes and ears? Do not think you brain can override anybody. Next time think before you comment. Zimbabweans are for sure literate. I beg you.

dungas - 28 July 2013

surely this is another stunt by Zpf to snare its prey. this guy who handed over the envelope is definitely CIO. he created a scenario in whch led MK to believe it was a genuine case yet they wanted to sway the blame game. MK yo were trapped for whatever unknown reason by your enemy. or maybe someone wants to send you a message that we voted otherwise.

silvanos - 29 July 2013

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