US queries Zim voting results

2005-04-06 18:38

Special Report

Zimbabwe refugees jailed
Zimbabwe refugees jailed

A court in Zimbabwe has sentenced four villagers who were displaced by floods last year to five years in jail each for taking part in demonstrations that rocked the camp they and thousands of others were sheltering in.

Cape Town - The United States Embassy in Zimbabwe has called on the Zimbabwean Election Commission to release the voting results of the individual polling stations as soon as possible.

In a statement received in Cape Town on Thursday, the embassy said the US government, along with many other governments that observed the 2000 and 2002 elections in Zimbabwe, were not invited to bring in outside observers for the March 31 elections.

However, the embassy in Harare sent 25 teams of diplomats accredited as election observers by the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) around the country during the pre-election period and on election day.

On election day, embassy teams observed more than 350 polling stations in 59 constituencies.

The observers noted several patterns of irregularities that raised concerns about the freeness and fairness of the process.

Of particular concern was a lack of transparency in the tabulation of vote counts.

The US observers were excluded from observing counts in four polling stations.

Where they were admitted, observers and officials, including party representatives and neutral domestic observers, were locked in the polling station and not permitted to communicate with anyone outside.

At the same time, uniformed police were observed communicating the vote tallies via radio and telephone.

In several observed instances, the presiding officer confiscated the notes of party polling agents and independent observers before letting them depart the polling station.

Food distribution

In apparent contravention of Zimbabwean election law, results were not publicly posted before being forwarded to regional centres and at many stations were never posted at all.

Zanu-PF agents and the police appeared to have improper roles in the supervision or conduct of the polling stations and in the operation of ZEC constituency tabulation centres.

In several instances, embassy observers witnessed uniformed police participating in the vote compilation instead of ZEC officials at the constituency tabulation centres.

Also, some polling stations were located in areas that would be intimidating to some voters, such as next to police stations or within 200m of a Zanu-PF office.

Some polling stations also appeared to be associated with the distribution of food. Finally, in many polling stations observed, the percentages of voters turned away were as high as 30 percent.

Compounding concern over these irregularities was the silence of the Zimbabwe Election Commission on crucial issues.

It had failed to release the voting results of any polling stations, to explain why its initial release of totals of ballots cast only included six of the country's ten provinces, and also not explained why it never released results for the remaining four provinces.




Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.