Extend Zim early poll - monitors

2013-07-15 21:33

Harare - Local election monitors called Monday for Zimbabwe to extend early voting for thousands of police officers and warned the country's electoral system was in disarray two weeks from a crucial presidential poll.

Early voting for the security services on Sunday was plagued by late-opening polling stations and shortages of voting materials such as indelible ink, stamps, voter rolls and ballot papers and boxes.

"It is only prudent that ZEC [the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] considers extending the special voting to ensure that all those issued with permission to cast special votes are given opportunity to do so," said Solomon Zwana, chair of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

The group said it was "seriously concerned that the chaos that prevailed during the special voting process serves as a telling and worrying indicator that could repeat itself" on election day, scheduled for 31 July.

"The process continues to be disorganised, an indication that ZEC was unprepared to conduct the special voting process," Zwana said.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is seeking to extend his 33 years in power, fending off a challenge from his top rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a shaky power-sharing government in 2009 after violent and disputed polls in 2008.

Tsvangirai won the first round of the vote, but pulled out of the run-off after around 200 opposition activists were killed.

In previous elections, security forces have voted in barracks and police camps unobserved.

Security chiefs have openly showed support for Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, and have blasted Tsvangirai as a stooge of the West.

The security forces, which fall under Mugabe's control, have in the past been accused of rights abuses and intimidating political opponents.

  • Garrick Dunstan - 2013-07-15 22:25

    He's lost it, he will probably stand up and declare it all went well. He's making a mockery of democracy

  • Tyrone Grobbelaar - 2013-07-16 06:55

    I think that we may as well settle for when he dies from old age. The man is not planning to go anywhere. i just can't believe not one Zimbabwean has ever aimed a rifle at him, suckers for punishment.

      Rotwance C Mhakayakora - 2013-07-16 08:22

      We all love Mugabe and we can do whatever it takes to protect him.Long live my President.

      JJ Terblanche - 2013-07-16 09:29

      @Rotwance C Mhakayakora: I supposed you are sitting in this lovely country South Africa, shooo.. go back home and go vote, while you are there stay there.

      Jukwa Wacho - 2013-07-16 12:04

      What I find strange is how white people believe Africa is their home. Have they forgotten their roots? Or is it a case of getting too comfortable by the stove. What will happen when black South African wake up and demand their resources? It will happen one day.

      Frodo Lopez - 2013-07-16 12:30

      Well the likes of Malema are already spreading the word. His support is indeed growing. Its just a matter of time. Land will go back to its rightful owners.

      Jimmy Khuzwayo - 2013-07-16 14:31

      Tell them @Jukwa,. But find a better name to use. That one has been compromised by a fool on FB. If Mugabe wins this election, then this will represent success for the land reform and like @Frodo says blacks across Africa will take notice. I think Zimbabwe might have just started a truly African revolution, not this Spring revolution nonsense sponsored by America

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