Opposition wary of 2018 poll work

HARARE - National elections management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), has embarked on a nationwide polling station mapping exercise — which opposition parties say could be an attempt to appease them ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

However, although the polling station catchment mapping exercise will run from this month until the end of November, opposition parties coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) claim that they are in the dark about the exercise.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) would like to inform members of the public that it will be carrying out a countrywide polling station catchment area mapping exercise.

“This is in preparation for the imminent nationwide voter registration which will be polling station-specific as a critical process in the preparations for the 2018 harmonised elections,” Zec chief elections officer Constance Chigwamba said in a statement.

The mapping exercise would involve drawing boundaries and descriptions of the polling station catchment areas, which would be guided by the principle that each polling station should handle not more than 1 500 voters on polling day.

“The advantages of polling station voter registration and voting system are that it speeds up the voting process, eliminates long queues, curtails potential multiple voting, and minimises challenges relating to printing of ballot paper and voters’ rolls and their distribution,” Chigwamba said.

But the MDC told the Daily News yesterday that it viewed Zec’s announcement “with suspicion” because the national elections management body itself needed to be reformed.

“This catchment area mapping hasn’t been adequately explained to all the opposition political parties in the country. Nevertheless, we will be closely monitoring the situation on the ground to establish what exactly is taking place.

“Remember, when you’re supping with the devil you have to use a very long spoon. We shouldn’t be too excited because the Zec secretariat is still essentially run by the State security agencies,” spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“Voter registration is supposed to be a continuous process, but for some reason, Zec undertakes a very low-key voter registration exercise, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas.

“These reforms are very peripheral and piecemeal so far. But under the Nera trajectory, we will keep pushing for the adoption of comprehensive and far-reaching electoral reforms,” he added.

Opposition parties and pro-democracy groups accuse Zec of being sympathetic to Zanu PF and are pushing for a raft of reforms which include dismantling its secretariat which they claim is packed with President Robert Mugabe’s functionaries.

In 2008, Zec withheld that year’s election results for six weeks in polls which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe hands down.

Comments (13)

I can absolutely guarantee everyone that ZANU PF are in well advanced stages of planning how to rig the next elections with the assistance of their supportive Iraeli company, Nikuv. Given their extremely dishonest track record why would anyone in their right mind now think otherwise. With or without international supervision and monitors the next elections will be rigged in favour of ZANU PF and if anyone thinks otherwise then they are mad. Rigging elections is now a common practice right throughout this sub continent of ours. Why? Because we allow it to happen and such behaviour is condoned by other AU and SADC leaders. Very sad for democracy in Africa. Will it or can it ever change? I don't think so....at least not without some divine intervention.

Mbewa - 3 October 2016

You cannot rig all the elections all the time. The tide for change is coming and no amount of ballot chicanery will be able to save the the tired regime when God says yes to such change. Never before have so many elements of our society, so many people, so many churches been agreed on the one thing. That Zimbabwe needs a new viable people oriented government. We shall see a brighter future for us and our children. Soldier on Zimbabweans. Think of ways of limiting the opportunities for rigging, discuss and apply these ways at cell levels.

Viva Unidade - 3 October 2016

@mbewa. Thats axactly why we shuld just have GNU now than wait for murderous parties to start bashing each other.Poverty is wicked.Poverty is upon this nation because of inept leadership.Political leadership in this country is vampire type,eat its own children.Up to 1980 ,we were kings to Tswanas and Moskens,Zambians included.But now we are scroungers for them, begging for food in their countries.We are so poor now ,even beggars migrated.The blind saw it coming and left for SA.Now what kind of leadership is this that drives a blindman out of the country?To beg next door.Is there any pride in this?All this I put on Mugabe n Tsvangirai politics.The 2 brothers in arms.Hatiende brothers.They ate cheese cakes in the morning discussing us and here we are ,poorer.

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

Kana uchiteya makonzo unoisa dovi rinonhuwirira kuswededza gonzo pariva.That's exactly what ZANU is doing,,Opposition leaders please note this.All what Zec is trying to do is to make u think that they are genuine & catch u at the point.Please u need to be ahead of them when ever they plan their tricks.

matsotsi - 3 October 2016

@dailynews,its ludicruos for an esteemed national paper like yours to claim that in 2008 'tsvangirai beat mugabe beat mugabe hands down',can yu please furnish us with evidence if yu have any,tsvangirai failed to garner 50% plus one ,period

truth - 3 October 2016

hi Guys, there is a problem in Zim politics. The oposition politics is in Zimbabwe s dominated by yung generation who always make a lot of noise but they dont register to vote. The Oposition parties dwell much on media aking noise instead of making grass roots education of their electorate to go and register to vote. I have noticed it several times that most of the youths are not registered voters. Its high time that Zimbabweans free theirselves. Avoid hetrage and work together as unified force and mobilise people to go and register to vote. Its not the filling up of stadiums that makes someone a winner in an election. Lets get people who are determined and go to register to vote. on the day of election , you go in numbers to vote and you vote the bastured out of power. There is no need for show off , just go and vote in silence and you will see the bastured being booted out of power. he wants to leave office with a lot of Graves , so be carefull. Lets use the social media to mobilise our friends to go ad regiter to vote. Now it very simple since 73% of the zimbabwean electorate is betwwen 18 and 35 years so i can tell you that the idiot is living i his last days as long as we stop infighting and work for the main goal. its already given but my last advice is , lets organise the base and mobilise the youths to go and register to vote in numbers and wait for the 2018 general election.

gandanga kuhondo - 3 October 2016

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nadeem - 4 October 2016

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nadeem - 4 October 2016

To hell with zec all they are doing is nonsense what are they doing with zanu burning people homes for not supporting them . ZEC must tell people that they must report to them people who intimidate and force them to vote for them bcoz that is rigging ,Anything shorter than that is waste of time for citizens of this country .

Diibulaanyika - 4 October 2016

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NUTTY DREADLOCK - 4 October 2016

We already know that Zanu PF have always rigged elections, even before MDC entered the fray ZANU PF would rig itself. My advise to the opposition don't just morn from the sidelines, you need to engage ZEC now and expose all their dirty tricks. Get your people into the structure and disable this Zanu PF App from within.

Hwacha - 4 October 2016

@Truth what r u hiding , the evidence is that why were pple beaten ,burnt ,killed. open yo eyes old man you r being used o you r part and parcel of this gvt of mass destruction #Tsvangiraiwon2008 2013elections woza 2018 he will win #TSVANGIRAI

safa ngendlala - 5 October 2016

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