Zim election dogged by controversy

July 22, 2013 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

FEARS abound that Zimbabwe could have another disputed election outcome if
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) fails to address logistical problems
that characterised last week’s special ballot, analysts have warned.

REPORT BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE

They also expressed serious reservations about the electoral management body’s
capacity, in the absence of enough funding 10 days before the poll date, to
deliver credible elections.

Recently ZEC — which had over the past months claimed that it was ready for
the elections — failed to conduct a special vote for 69 000 people, leaving
at least more than half of them unable to cast their ballots.

If the election management body failed to conduct an election for 69 000
voters in two days, the analysts reasoned, it will be foolhardy to expect it
to successfully manage a poll for about 6 million people in 12 hours.

The special voting process failed to commence at most designated polling
stations due to a shortage of ballot boxes, stationery and ZEC’s failure to
timeously deliver the special voting certificates.

Analysts said the whole election process was poorly planned, plagued by
irregularities and under-funding.

As of yesterday, Finance minister Tendai Biti was still to secure adequate
funding for the elections to be held on July 31. On Friday, he accused
Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa of frustrating the election process, an
allegation Zanu PF has also raised against the Prime Minister, Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.

“We gave US$20 million to [ZEC] on Monday for the actual elections after
giving out US$11 million last week,” said Biti. “We don’t have resources at
the moment.

We are not happy with the issue of diamonds.”

ZEC has budgeted US$130 million for the harmonised elections.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Shakespeare Hamauswa said
the credibility of the July 31 elections hinged on how ZEC addressed the
mistakes it encountered during the special ballot.

“This was the first time that special votes were done outside the police
stations,” he said. “So the credibility of the elections will depend on how
ZEC addresses these issues.”

Govt should tackle election challenges urgently: CCDZ

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Shakespeare Hamauswa said
ZEC should exploit the absence of political violence that characterised the
2008 elections to ensure a credible and an internationally-recognised poll.

The MDC-T has said at least 200 of its supporters were killed by Zanu PF and
State security agents during the 2008 violent poll.
But Zanu PF has dismissed the allegations.

The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) has urged government
to convene a Cabinet meeting and try to address the problems affecting the
smooth running of the electoral process ahead of the elections.

The civic organisation monitored the two-day special voting exercise across
the country.

“There is urgent need for government to avail funds to ZEC and strengthen
the electoral management body and build technical capacity of this
institution to preserve the country’s democratic processes,” said CCDZ in a
statement.

Sadc leaders last month in Mozambique urged President Robert Mugabe to ask
the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to extend by two weeks the July 31
deadline for the holding of elections.

This was after the MDC formations and civil society organisations complained
to the regional body that the country was not ready for elections, noting
that reforms to level the electoral playing field had not been effected.

The ConCourt, however, dismissed the application, insisting that the polls
be held on July 31 as earlier ordered.

ZEC last week denied it was partisan insisting that it was a professional
body and reiterated its commitment to holding fee and fair elections next
week.

“Commissioners and staff of ZEC have different backgrounds but they are all
required to be and to date have been impartial in the discharge of their
duties,” said ZEC in a statement. “The Commission remains committed to
conducting free and fair elections on 31 July 2013.”

‘ZIM HEADING FOR ANOTHER SHAM POLL’

Political analyst, Phillip Pasirayi said ZEC lacked capacity to deliver a
credible poll.

He said there was need to build capacity and offer technical assistance to
the body, including removing from its ranks those partisan individuals
associated with the election debacle of 2008.

“Without addressing these challenges, I am afraid to say that the next
elections are a mere self-legitimating ritual no different from the previous
elections,” said Pasirayi. “Judging by the chaos that we witnessed during
the special voting exercise, the country is headed for another sham election
whose outcome will not reflect the will of the people.”

OBAMA CALLS FOR CALM AFTER ZIMMERMAn ACQUITTAL

ANFORD, Florida — US President Barack Obama called for calm after the
acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager
Trayvon Martin, as hundreds of civil rights demonstrators turned out at
rallies to condemn racial profiling.

Zimmerman, cleared Saturday last week by a Florida jury of six women in the
shooting to death of the unarmed Martin, still faces public outrage, a
possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation.

In Washington, the US Justice Department said it was evaluating whether it
has enough evidence to support prosecution of Zimmerman in federal court
after his acquittal in Florida.

Civil rights activists have been pressuring the Obama administration to
bring civil rights charges in federal court. Critics contend Zimmerman
wrongly suspected 17-year-old Martin of being a criminal because he was
black, making it a civil rights issue. At a rally in New York’s Union
Square, more than 200 protesters turned out chanting “No justice, no peace” — Reuters

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

Zim election not looking good: Zuma envoy Zec not fit to run elections: CCDZ

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