Zim civil society denounces “illegitimate elections"

HARARE - Zimbabwean civil society groups have called into question the credibility and fairness of the July 31 election as President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party seemed confident of an unassailable victory.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe,  Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Zimrights, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Bulawayo Agenda, National Association of NGOs, said the vote was seriously flawed.

“We, the heads of CSO (civil society organisation) Coalitions and Networks would like to categorically state that the elections held in Zimbabwe on July 31, 2013 and the processes leading up to them do not by any stretch of the imagination qualify this election as being free, fair or credible,” the groups said in a damning joint statement.

“We regard this election as illegitimate and not reflective of the will of the people.”

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told a press conference on Friday that a total of 3,9 million voters took part in the election which he compared to the 1980 election which ushered in Zimbabwe’s independence.

“By all accounts, the people have spoken,” Chinamasa said.

Tsvangirai said Zanu PF had staged a coup.

“This is a coup by ballot,  it’s not a reflection of the will of people,” Tsvangirai said.

“There is no legitimacy.

“Election cannot pass test, it’s a travesty for the people of Zimbabwe.”

Tsvangirai said the outcome “sets a negative trajectory for the country.

“I can only concede defeat in a fair contest,” Tsvangirai said.

Zimbabwean civil society groups cited a slew of flaws that called into question the victory claim, after the MDC charged that Mugabe’s rivals had been engaged in vote-rigging.

They said the voters roll lacked integrity, there was lack of timely availability of the voters’ roll, suspiciously high number of voters’ turned away, suspiciously high number of assisted voters, bussing of people from outside constituencies, contested election timing and rules, failure to implement agreed reforms and systematic and intentional disenfranchisement of potential and registered voters.

“Zec failed to provide explanations and corrective action that would have had assuaged the above concerns, thus facilitating and allowing for possible manipulation of the process.

“It is curious that when Zec was unable to meet the constitutional requirement that all those eligible to register be afforded an opportunity to do so, it categorically stated that it would apply the provisions of the Electoral Act in relation to the cut off date, leaving many disenfranchised.

“However, it brought an application to the Constitutional Court asking that provisions of the Electoral Act be suspended to accommodate special voters who had failed to vote on the appointed dates.”

Zimbabwean civil society groups noted the encouragement by different stakeholders and observer missions for aggrieved parties to approach the courts for redress.

“We however, respectfully disagree with that approach because we believe it is the courts that got us into this contested position,” the civil society groups said.

“We have no reason to believe that the same courts can get us out of the mess.”

The civil society groups implored Zec to urgently release statistics of assisted voters per polling station, statics of people turned away per polling station nationwide and the reasons thereof and the total number of people who voted using voter registration slips per polling station nationwide.

“Zec already has this critical information and it will cost it nothing but the will to release this information,” the civil society groups said.”

“We call upon the Registrar General of Voters to immediately release the electronic copy of the voters’ roll to all interested parties. Claims of its unavailability are illogical as the hard copy is generated from the electronic version.”

Tsvangirai said: “AU must insist on an audit of this exercise.”

Comments (2)

What NGOs? These known MDC-T affiliates. What would you expect them to do? Certainly not to cheer a ZANU PF shellacking of the MDC-T!

Checheni - 5 August 2013

Heavenly father,if you relly love Zimb, reveal yourself by taking Zimb out of these old hands of Bob, lest we are all going to die b4 5yrs.1.He is going to amend the constitution again.2.He is going 2 bring back Zim $ if not the yen 3.Corruption to top again thru the Diamond farce.4.Unemployment to increase to 1000%.5.He is going to cease inter.banks thru false indigenisation6.Civil servants are not going to be paid 7.No hospital to function again, no Education for our children 8 No food in the shops shelves.9 Somalia is ahead of us plz God be with Zimb. We hav come a long way. Give us a brighter future as you said in Jer 29v11. I dont believe it is your will God to take us back, As we glorify yo name Lord, we put thee trust in thee. Show yoself Heavenly father that u are there on your throne of ruling.Today without fail, i await your respond."All things work together for our good",says your word.Let your will prevail on this land. We will rather stay here, than going, Where? anyway.I mean GNU, than to ZPF. In no time show yoself to the pple of Zimb, that you alone liveth. "john" thats my signature God.

jonzo - 5 August 2013

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