'Bikita West poll unfair'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF won the Bikita West by-election by directing voters to give their ballot-paper serial numbers to their headmen who had marshalled them to polling stations and made them queue in a predetermined order, observers claimed.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) — the largest independent observer group in the country — confirmed the electoral mischief.

“In the run up to the by-election, Zesn observers reported that there were plans to intimidate voters by recording serial numbers of voting slips and requesting voters to report to their village heads and party structures after casting their votes,” the leading domestic monitoring body’s chairperson Henry Masaya said.

Zesn said these developments “are clearly in violation of Section 133B(c)(1) of the Electoral Act which outlaws any attempts to compel voters to vote for a particular candidate or party.”

Villagers who spoke to the Daily News after attending pre-poll village meetings with their kraal heads, also said the local Zanu PF leadership had been directed “from above” to ensure that traditional leaders had a chat with their subjects before casting their votes, blatantly violating the sanctity of the vote.

Zanu PF candidate Beauty Chabaya won the by-election by 13 156 votes, beating her closest rival Kudakwashe Gopo of ZPF, who polled 2 453 votes.

Independent candidate innocent Muzvimbiri garnered 725 votes, followed by Madock Chivasa (NCA) with 343 votes, Terrence Tanyaradzwa Makomborero (PDZ) with 132 votes while former MDC legislator Heya Shoko polled 76 votes.

There were 247 spoiled ballots.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said events that obtained during the Bikita West by-election revealed that Zimbabwe could be headed for yet another sham poll in 2018 if measures are not taken to level the political playing ground.

“Senior army personnel as well as Zanu PF officials openly threatened to unleash violence in the event that Zanu PF loses the by-election and this would justify any contestation of the outcome of the Bikita West by-election,” the report said.

“Zanu PF’s resolve to win the Bikita West by-election at all costs — including violence and intimidation — culminated in the attack of ...Chivasa and his campaign manager by known Zanu PF sympathisers.

“Zanu PF also went on a vote-buying spree and this included manipulating hungry teachers who were directed to campaign for the ruling party.

“Partisan distribution of food aid and farming inputs was also part of the vote-buying spree by Zanu PF and the Bikita West by-election was fraught with a lot of electoral irregularities and should thus be dismissed given the fact that conditions that prevailed before, during and after the election were far from meeting the standards of free and fair polls.

“It is quite evident that Zanu PF has an overbearing influence on the operations of Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) and thus maintains an unfair advantage during elections and this is likely to continue into 2018.”

Comments (5)

Intimidation machine deep&rooted in zanu pf,but its originality top brass elements,thoz close&surrounding Mugabe including the wife Grace,may some scattered elements in lower ranks,but now a national problem.The majority of zanupf members are all intimidated as well,it extends to rest of the nation

addmore gudo - 24 January 2017

may b also fr some scattered elements in lower ranks,but now is a national problem.It extends to the rest of the nation.All our nation is intimidated by the top brass of zanu pf elements-the traditional chiefs are all warned of the consenquences of not driving all their subjects to the ballot box for zanu pf.What then is the hope after all this-but only a small cliche of top brass zanu pf elements to intimidate the whole nation-what ths?Whatz the way forward?Less than 10 ppl really?No mouth in zanu pf can raise a motion of retiring the president &can remain in the party-Mavhaire.The intimidation spread to the rest of the nation-all forced to elect Mugabe to the presidency of our nation.We hope the rights groups will do their work here-expose it ,educate the populations,the people must take courage & send Mugabe home

addmore gudo - 24 January 2017

How did ZanuPF fail to do this KuNorton? Someone is manufacturing News here. Please republish the Norton report from this Zesn, if there was any.

Weston - 24 January 2017

If the whole Zanu pf hierachy could decent on one constituency to fight one zpf candidate, will they able able to reciprocate it in the 2018 elections where 210 constituencies are at stake. Do they have the resources to buy votes in all constituencies. This time they have to work hard even in the Mash provinces too. time will tell.

meaky - 24 January 2017

Hey you people of Zimbabwe we are tired of your election news. MDC-T communicated long back that playing field is not level for elections. No matter what you do if you cannot control ZANU PF all elections are useless. Rather avoid elections and concentrate on better issues. If possible leave Zimbabwe to be a ZANU PF kingdom. It does not make sense for all the opposition parties to get into elections after results you complain. Let us discuss other issues right now 20 million was wasted in preparation for 2018 elections for ZANU PF it was better if that money was for development. Let us declare no opposition party will get into an election with ZANU PF as long as electoral rules are not followed period.

Gubuzela - 24 January 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.