Zim: ‘Minor incidents’ or ‘several shortcomings’?

2013-08-02 14:04

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

African Union (AU) observer mission team leader Olusegun Obasanjo calls it “minor incidents” but his team, in a statement, has slammed “several shortcomings” in the running of the Zimbabwean elections.

Obasanjo told a group of journalists in Harare today that “there were minor incidents ... not such that could be regarded (as putting) the election in jeopardy. There were challenges, but they were not challenges that we would regard as so bad (they) would flaw the election absolutely terribly.”

He said he had never seen an election that was perfect.

Yesterday, Obasanjo paid Mugabe a surprise visit at his official residence and told journalists there the election was free and fair, a statement he initially voiced on election day.

But his team has released a statement that lambasts election officials for “several shortcomings”, including failing to make the voters’ roll available timeously to all political parties.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqppfsSdrjc

Addressing a press conference at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, the team faulted the election process for, among others:

» The electoral commission’s printing of too many extra ballot papers – there were 35% more ballot papers than registered voters. Six million people were registered to vote but about 8.7 million ballot papers were printed;

» A high incidence of voters being turned away. At a polling station in Matabeleland South, 85 voters were turned away. Polling officers told observers voters could not be found on the voters’ roll and that others reported to the wrong polling stations;

» The late publication of the list of polling stations, only about 48 hours before the country went to the polls. This, said the AU, could have contributed significantly to the high number of voters who were turned away or referred to other polling stations or to the command centre;

» A high number of voters were assisted. At the Musengizi polling station, 90 out of 370 voters were assisted. At Kapembere Primary School, 77 out of 374 voters were assisted. At Bore Primary School, 85 voters out of 374 voters were assisted and, in Manicaland, about 97 out of 370 voters were assisted.

“While the current electoral laws provide for assistance by presiding officers, electoral officers and police officers, the involvement of such officers may influence or restrict the free will of the voter,” said the AU in a statement; and

» The media in Zimbabwe was highly polarised along party lines and biased. The AU criticised the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation for not providing a platform to opposition parties.

Deputy head of the AU observer mission Dr Aisha Abdullahi laid into the registrar-general of voters (RGV) for providing the voters’ roll two days before election, “rather late for the meaningful inspection and verification by voters, parties and candidates to take place”.

The RGV had told observers that copies of the voters’ roll had been made available to all parties. But Abdullahi said “observers had found no evidence that hard copies were generally available to all who required them and who, by law, should have them”.

» This story originally appeared under the headline “AU says minor incidents caused several shortcomings in Zim elections”.

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
Traffic
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.