The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has ruled out chances of postponing next Monday’s national elections, insisting it was all systems go despite complaints by opposition parties that the ground was not yet level for a free and fair contest.
Briefing accredited observers in Harare yesterday, Zec deputy chairperson Emmanuel Magade said they had handled the election preparations in a manner that did not warrant a disputable outcome.
The opposition MDC Alliance has threatened to block the holding of elections until Zec has guaranteed transparency in the security of the ballot paper.
Magade said if anyone had problems with the Electoral Act, they should go to Parliament because the commission’s role was to implement the law.
“We pride ourselves in being servants of the law,” Magade said. “There is no way we can subvert the Constitution. I think if there are things that are humanly possible for us to rectify, to intervene in the time left between now and July 30 then that can be done, but postponement of the election is out of the question.”
“In terms of the Constitution, we have to abide meticulously and religiously by the provision of the Constitution.”
With regards to the “shambolic voters’ roll”, Zec commissioner Qhubani Moyo said it was in a good and usable state.
“Our position as a Commission is that we are satisfied that the voters’ roll is in perfect order. It is a new voters’ roll that has been under construction since last year in September,” Moyo said.
“We gave it out for people to check their names or any errors and omissions that needed to be corrected. We went on to check for ourselves using the AFIS system to see if there were any duplications and we are very much satisfied that the roll is very much in order.”
Moyo admitted that there could have been some typographical errors, adding that those had since been rectified.
Moyo said Zec had been engaging the parties so that they could point the exact areas where there were inconsistencies.
The commissioners also expressed disheartenment over the nature of abuse spewed against the female commissioners, especially on social media.
Meanwhile, the police elections commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza, promised that the force would be thorough and professional in their work during the polls.
He said there had taken the officers involved in the polls for retraining in areas of elections.
He said they had been reports of both inter-party and intra-party violence.
For inter-party crimes that include assault, 51 suspects had been arrested, with another 33 arrested for defacing of rivals’ political posters.
Thirty-three suspects had been arrested for tearing of political posters, intimidation and threats and for malicious damage to property.
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