Zec shoots messenger

HARARE - The reaction by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday to grave allegations by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party, the MDC, that special vote ballots cast in the premier's favour were found dumped in dustbins in Harare boggles the mind.

Shockingly, Zec looks like it is effectively s eeking to behead the bearer of the damaging claims, Morgan Komichi, rather than investigate seriously and transparently the substance of the matter.

This is not just tragic, it is a complete and double travesty of justice.

By Zec's own account, Komichi, a senior official in Tsvangira's MDC — the aggrieved party which stands to lose so much if the serious allegations are proven correct —  rightly took the claims and alleged evidence of dumped special ballots to the elections body.

And as any responsible person would do under the circumstances and in the banana republic that our country has become, Komichi refused to name the person who gave him the alleged evidence — obviously fearing for the whistle-blower's safety. Yes, our country is notorious for selective justice as this case so amply demonstrates.

And how does our esteemed electoral body respond to all this?

Staggeringly, Zec said in a formal statement that it wished to register its concerns at the manner in which 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 pollingstation.

"Thirdly and more telling, if the ballots had been marked by the voter, they would not have remained sealed in the tamper-proof 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," Zec said.

It went on to conclude, without blinking or mounting any visible investigation for such a
serious allegation, that Komichi’s claims were not credible and that, accordingly, “we have severe reservations regarding the details he provided to the Commission.”

The key question that Zec needs to answer urgently and honestly is: Why is the electoral body then handing over the case to our partisan police force for “investigation” if it has already established that Komichi’s allegations are without merit, and if this is simply not an endeavour to now pressurise the whistle-blower?

If one dissects the points that Zec raises above, the fact that Komichi took a day to report the allegations, did not do this directly to our patently partial police, and that the hero citizen who found the allegedly dumped ballot papers neither wished to report the matter themselves to authorities, nor to be identified, is more important to Zec than establishing whether these grave allegations are true in the first instance.

This is warped thinking, and only possible in Zimbabwe.

Is it not the responsibility of Zec, in the first instance, to tell the nation whether the ballots that were allegedly dumped in dustbins are in fact genuine or not, and to explain to Zimbabweans how they may have ended up outside of their hands if they are genuine?

Secondly, if the “dumped” ballots were taken out of the custody of Zec without authority, how come that the electoral body did not appear to know this, as there is no public record anywhere of a report that someone had stolen the papers?

Thirdly, would this not be the opportunity for Zec to assure Zimbabweans and the watching world at large that both the ballots and the fate of this election are secure in Zec’s hands rather than raise frivolous and technical issues around claims of gross irregularities?

So we ask, with tears in our eyes, is this belated reporting of the matter to the police simply not a way of intimidating other potential whistle-blowers, so that people do not report any further similar allegations from now on?

The signs look ominous for Wednesday’s polls. Is our nation cursed?

Comments (11)

You are spot on Daily News. The evil Zanoids are desperate to win by hook or crook, regardless of the consequences for Zimbabwe.

Jonso Musorodamba - 28 July 2013

It does not matter what great grandpa does, it simply won't wash this time.

Mercy - 28 July 2013

ZEC=Zanu pf Electoral Commission.What more evidenve do you want?

Chimpunu - 28 July 2013

ZEC's credibility is questionable as it is on the defensive rather than give a pat on the back of Honourable Morgan Komichi for bringing this issue to their attention. With such an attitude one wonders whether ZEC will conduct a credible, transparent, free, fair and democratic election. Change is inevitable & it is time we all embrace the winds of change blowing across mother Zimbabwe.

Chief Philip Charumbira - 28 July 2013

Whilst Mugabe and ZANU are already in their plan B of rigging the election as they realise they can't win, Zimbabweans should move into their plan B to take place soon after elections are stolen.

Zizi - 28 July 2013

He acted out of mandate , cause he violated the electoral law . These guyz from MDC are now evrything ,so mbiti ngaitsve . Let justice prevail

pingu - 29 July 2013

Kkkkkkkkk, Zimbabweans, ZEC, ZPF,..... To our President , Save, we as people of Zimbabwe pati chaita problem nemi makutonga ndepe kurega kutora action against such incidnts dziri kuitika now kana ma panyanga. We vow not to vote for you in next elections if you are to fail to deal with , ZEC, ZBC, ZPF, ZZZZHERALD. We are watching you save

Gogodeea 2 - 29 July 2013

@Zizi you are right lets get prepared guys, As the Party leaders of MDC see it imposible to loose wheeras Mugabe see it possible to rig the elections, Mugabe has reduced hi Rallies to 10 he knows he cant win and Plan B is to Rig, Then as we know that MDC-T gets money from the west, what will stop the West injecting more funds to Contest a stolen Vote and we all Know wht Rob can do when it comes to Violence, So i urge all my Beloved Citetizens to brace Themselves for the bloody aftermath.

Mfana Ka Sobhuku... - 29 July 2013

Firstly , how did the police get to confirm that the police officer in question did not vote..?Is this not compromising the secrecy of the vote? In any case since secrecy has to be maintained they should have been at least the presence of all parties during the investigation soi that we are sure no one can have access to our balllots papers used or unused. I think its a deliberate plot by the Police to telkl us that they can tell who we vote for

chidodamdara - 29 July 2013

A BANANA REPUBLIC WHER INNOCENT PPLE ARE DETAINED N MURDERERS WALK FREE , WHO HAS A CASE TO ANSWER ZEC OR M. KOMICHI ??

di truth - 29 July 2013

The likes of Joyce Kazembe can never be trusted (they are the dungheap of society but it boggles the mind when people lJke Justice Makarau and Prof Feltoe seem comfortable in the face of such blatant miscarriage of justice. ZPF has an uncanny ability to corrupt even at the highest level of the legal system. Shame on you Mai Makarau and Va Feltoe!

Johno - 29 July 2013

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