Sham by-elections

HARARE - Hordes of voters were stuck in slow-moving queues at some polling stations around the country, with many of them ultimately unable to cast their ballots during yesterday’s by-elections and police being called in to calm the angry crowds.

At the same time, civil society organisations have reported a number of alleged malpractices, including damaging claims that some law enforcement agents and traditional leaders were at the centre of some of the electoral malpractices.

Heal Zimbabwe Trust claimed that six registered polling agents representing independent candidate Herman Karimakwenda in Dzivaresekwa had been blocked from entering some polling stations in the constituency on the pretext that the agents were not registered in the area.

It was also reported that in Headlands some Zanu PF officials were allegedly writing down the names of people who were coming in to vote, a move that transgressed both the spirit and letter of electoral laws as it had the net effect of intimidating voters.

In Hurungwe, village heads were also alleged to be recording the names of voters before and after voting.

“In Ward 16, at Nyadara Primary School polling station, about 60 youths have been turned away after their names could not be found on the voters’ roll. Those turned away are suspected to be (independent candidate) Temba Mliswa’s supporters.

“In addition, village head Muyindisi was bringing villagers in groups for voting at Nyadara Primary School but was turned away by the police who  threatened him with arrest. The police went on to disperse other groups that were at the primary school,” Heal Zimbabwe Trust said.

It added that at Vambe polling station, some Zanu PF-aligned village heads had allegedly rounded up and organised people in groups of seven to go and vote for ruling party candidate Keith Guzah, saying that failure to comply with that illegal directive would result in the affected people being chased out of the headmen’s villages.

The Daily News was also separately told that the Zanu PF candidate for Kambuzuma, Tinashe Maduza, was allegedly moving around the township campaigning at the various polling stations, in contravention of electoral laws.

It was also claimed that voters were being ferried to polling stations in the same constituency by vehicles that were also carrying police officers — and that the voters received instructions on who to vote for before proceeding to cast their votes.

European Union and US diplomats observing the by-elections said yesterday that all the reported malpractices were “very disturbing stories” which needed to be thoroughly investigated.

An analyst told the Daily News last night that Zimbabwe’s electoral system was “permeated by a culture of fraud built less on orders from the top” and that the by-elections had largely been “shams and exercises in futility”.

The parliamentary by-elections were being held in 16 constituencies left vacant following the recall of 14 legislators by the MDC — which then boycotted the vote citing an uneven electoral field — as well as the expulsion of two Zanu PF stalwarts, Didymus Mutasa and Mliswa, from the party. At least 102 candidates successfully filed their nomination papers to contest in the 16 constituencies in different parts of the country.

In Bulawayo, a Daily News team reports that by-elections in the second largest city had in the end failed to scale the election campaign hype that had been generated, as many people seemed reluctant to leave their daily routines to cast their votes — with not a single voter entering one polling station in Nguboyenja in the morning.

At Beit Hall in Luveve, a polling officer at the station said the number of voters had gradually increased later in the day, a situation that repeated itself at Cowdray Park polling tent. The crew then preceded to Pelandaba where only a few people waited to cast their votes while some bored polling officials were basking in the morning sunshine.

The team witnessed an exasperated woman being turned away as her name did not appear on the voters’ register.

“Last time, I voted here but today they turned me away. They said I am at the wrong constituency and my name does not appear on the registration slips. I do not know where to go now. But honestly, I can’t be bothered anymore,” she said.

At McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi, a woman who only identified herself as Amai Munashe said she did not go to vote because “it is a waste of time”.

“What use is it to vote for these people? To vote or not to vote does not change things as life is only getting worse in Zimbabwe,” she said.

In Headlands, our reporter Bernard Chiketo reported that the turnout there was “very low”.

Comments (17)

So what exactly did any of us expect?? ZPF are masters at lies, deception and rigging and they will be judged for that. And in the meanwhile there is no level playing ground; no implementation of constitutional electoral laws and a divided selfish opposition who cannot even sit down and have a cup of tea together???

TruthBTold - 11 June 2015

It is also high time that SA, Sadc,, the Un and the AU and the entire international community totally reject any further elections in Zimbabwe and make that absolutely clear to ZPF and demand extreme change. the whole world has lost the plot and not one shred of honour and honesty remains. Truth is fallen in the streets.

TruthBTold - 11 June 2015

So who will praise your own elections and institutions. Just because MDC-T didnt participate does not make the elections a sham. we know you are singing for your supper and its only your opinion!

godfrey gudo - 11 June 2015

isu takanovhota zvakanaka. zvose zvirikutaurwa nepepa rino inhema. kunyenge vedu vataida vakatadza kuhwinha takavhota murunyararo kwedu Kambuzuma

wind - 11 June 2015

We voted for the those who want power through democratic means, and the powerless idiots foresaw their loss and mad a retreat. But they were stupid enough to donate to zanu pf by recalling their mps's because of their cow dung fighting.

mdct loser - 11 June 2015

oh shame. these zanu people say they won but it seems the number of voters went down even for zanu. which means something is coming up here. morgan is powerful. he says and things happen. go on zanu rule, but the words of morgan will stay. you will achieve nothing that is why you have started to bite each other.

see - 11 June 2015

Zimbabwe is degenerating into a country of madness. If the entire by election is contested by one political party against hodes of independent candidates, in a country with more than 5 different parties, its no different with madness. Zanu PF should have realised that an elephant does not claim defeat in a tug of war against a rabbit. But alas Zanu PF is now politically dry and insane that they just do not care or think. Its amazing that with energetic and respectable people like Mnangagwa and Chinamasa as gentlemen would stoop so low. Its was Mugabe only he would excused because he is crazy from old age. His brains are now in retrogressive mode, no progressive thinking. But truely Mnangagwa and Mphoko and Kasukuwere to be drawn intoman chaotic elections against independent or even NCA, which has novrelevence any more, is SHAMEFUL.

ananian - 11 June 2015

morgan is powerful panyaya dze madzimai basi basi. pa politics ipwere yaakurambira pachigaro. in 1999 he promised that he would serve only three terms. now haachadi kubva kuitira kuti aite mukana we kutsvaka madzimai nehu president hwe mdc t.

zvirozviyedzwa - 11 June 2015

Iwe zvinei newe zveMdct naMorgan? Siyana nesu wanzwa, stupid renewal fool! Morgan is who we want, and he will be our president as long as we want!!!! Go and hang, coz Morgiza wedu is our leader and will take us out of this zpf stranglehold, no matter how long it takes!

Mai Bambino - 12 June 2015

ko akati vanhu vakadzoswa vaida kuvhoteranindependent ndiani. kana munhu asina zvikodzerwa zvekuti avhote hapana hapana

kadik - 12 June 2015

so you are indirectly accepting that there is no democracy in the movement for democratic change. morgan is above the party! in your own words there will not be any change in your party either except that you want change in zanu pf while you allow your own leader to overstay. its very fun how mdc t people are hypocritical. if you're not willing to embrace change please don't ask others to change. by far zanu is better that you lot. chinjai maitiro, machinja.

zvirozviyedzwa - 12 June 2015

Please let us all get one thing clear. No man is going to extricate us from this monumental mess we find ourselves in. Only the Lord God will do that. And only when we lay down our big egos, selfish agendas etc and repent. The opposition et al are also a disgrace. Work it out guys. may the Lord Himself raise up a man to lead this nation: a man after His own heart.

TruthBTold - 12 June 2015

Compare ZPF figures/votes 2013 elections and results of the byelections to determine whether to celebrate or work hard

El-Dodo - 12 June 2015

last kick of a dying horse just clueless on everything.its never too late to leave power cde and live your life as a dignified man not like what is now happening.had it been my grandfather i wouldnt have left him going through such a ridiculous circle.just a shame,pity

carson macate - 12 June 2015

Chisingapere chinoshura

Dhidhi Muhondo - 12 June 2015

Call it sham but vanhu vanenge vachitotonga. Refortm or no reform nyika inenge ichingotonwa. Its a wake up call.

Brian Chikwati - 12 June 2015

Hanzi landslide victory yezanu pfiefu ichizvikwikwidza shame.

Chitsiga - 13 June 2015

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