Apathy, thuggery mark Norton poll

HARARE - After the barbaric violence of the past few days in the area, many Norton residents appeared to show little enthusiasm for yesterday’s by-election, amid reports of intimidation by Zanu PF supporters in some areas.

The overall quiet atmosphere in the constituency was in sharp contrast to the chaos and hive of activity that had been witnessed in the usually sleepy Harare dormitory town last week — marked by violence and mega rallies by vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, among other prominent politicians, as they drummed up support for the Zanu PF candidate in the plebiscite, Ronald Chindedza.

Chindedza was contesting against independent candidate and former Zanu PF bigwig, Temba Mliswa, who for weeks, had complained of widespread harassment and intimidation of his supporters by ruling party apparatchiks.

The results of the by-election had not yet been released by the time the Daily News on Sunday went to print last night.

Although polling stations had opened early and on time, most of them were receiving voters in drips and drabs by lunchtime, with many people seemingly choosing to get on with their normal chores instead of coming through to cast their ballots.

However, observer groups such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (Zesn) and Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) reported incidents of intimidation and the bussing in of unregistered voters.

“Zanu PF officials took down voters’ names after casting their votes at some polling stations within the constituency, for instance at Clifford Primary in ward 14 and in ward 15 at Kingsdale.

“Zesn is deeply concerned about this practice as it falls within the category of intimidation which clearly violates section 133B (c) (1) of the Electoral Act which outlaws any attempts to compel voters to vote for a particular candidate or party,” the electoral watchdog said.

“At Sandringham High School, most people who voted in the morning were bussed in by Zanu PF. People who spoke to the Heal Zimbabwe team at Sandringham High School said that Zanu PF youths also forced people to go and vote.

“In Ward 12, there was a high turnout of voters. This is the same area where Zanu PF dished out residential stands yesterday ... people were threatened that if they do not vote for the Zanu PF candidate, they would lose the residential stands,” HZT said.

It was also reported that the voting had further been marred in other areas by the many cases of people who turned up in wrong wards, as well as those who were ineligible to vote due to issues related to documentation.

Last weekend, barbaric violence and teargas engulfed the town’s skies as police fought running battles with seemingly drunk Zanu PF yobs who launched gruesome attacks on Mliswa’s supporters, forcing the cancellation of his rally at Ngoni Stadium.

Comments (4)

I find your reporting very negative for the opposition. It is utterly discouraging. Instead of clearly telling your readers that the so-called name taking and the bussing of unregistered voters does not really work in an election, you tend to portray the picture that these machinations work! How can unregistered voter be allowed to vote? Do you have facts!? Zanu Pf is beatable any day in any election as long as everyone, including this newspaper start demystifying some ways of thinking.

Mhofu Chaiyo - 23 October 2016

woza 2018

safa ngendlala - 24 October 2016

its very possible

kelly - 24 October 2016

you give an indication we should rather stay at home than going to vote

Simba Neuta - 24 October 2016

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