MDC loses faith in Zim elections after ‘chaotic’ early voting

2013-07-16 16:59

Harare – The Zimbabwe prime minister’s party has said it had lost faith in the country’s electoral commission after “chaotic and disorganised” special voting for security forces ahead of key polls.

Long queues and the late delivery of ballot papers marked the two-day early vote, which started Sunday for police officers and soldiers who will be on duty on July 31 when the rest of the country votes.

Many security force agents found themselves unable to vote, drawing condemnation from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“The process is chaotic and disorganised and has exposed ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) as a body not ready to the task,” MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti told a news conference.

In just over a fortnight, presidential and parliamentary polls pit incumbent President Robert Mugabe against his archrival Tsvangirai (61).

Mugabe (89) hopes to extend his 33-year-rule in the vote that will end the pair’s unity government formed after deadly disputed polls in 2008.

Today, police officers waited at the city hall in the capital Harare, hoping to cast their votes, even though polls closed last night.

Presiding officers had been deployed late at most polling stations and MDC polling agents were chased away in the eastern province of Manicaland, said Biti.

“It’s a clear breach of the laws of Zimbabwe,” Biti added.

“We are really worried (about the) ZEC and have lost institutional trust in them. The junta has taken over and ZEC is no longer in charge.”

The MDC in the past has complained that former security force members – traditionally loyal to Mugabe – served on the ZEC.

The commission’s former head, George Chiweshe, used to be a brigadier-general in the army.

Reports of rights abuses and intimidation of political opponents have implicated the security forces, which fall under Mugabe’s control.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.