Early poll ‘rigging’ feared with soldier voter registration exercise

Obert Mpofu has a safe seat owing to military barracks and police units in his area

By Alex Bell
01 February 2013

An exercise to register soldiers and police officers in certain parts of the country is raising fears that vote rigging is already underway, ahead of elections expected this year.

Mobile registration services have been launched in and around Bulawayo by the Registrar General’s office, with registration points located in Nyamandlovu, Umguza and other districts.

This week hundreds of soldiers and police officials were bussed into these areas for registration. SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme reported that this service has so far only been offered to members of the security forces.

“The concern now from people here is that while it looks like a noble thing, these are people (soldiers) who are usually forced by their superiors to vote for a particular party,” Saungweme said.

He said that in Umguza constituency, the stronghold of ZANU PF Minister Obert Mpofu, the MDC-T would never have a chance of winning in elections because of the concentration of military barracks and police units there. He said, “all these people are being ordered to vote for ZANU PF.”

“They will be told how to vote come election time, so it means the election is already being rigged,” Saungweme said.

This report has been backed up by the Zimbabwe Independent which this week also reported on a police exercise to actively campaign for ZANU PF ahead of the elections.

The paper reported that in recent weeks police commanders have been touring police stations countrywide urging officers, their spouses and everyone else to register for elections and vote ZANU PF. The paper quoted unnamed police sources who said the commanders were following orders given by Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri in December.

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6 Responsesto “Early poll ‘rigging’ feared with soldier voter registration exercise”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    On Tuesday Biti said MDC would boycott the elections unless “hooligan” CIO and Military Officers are not fired from ZEC. Two days later Chamisa claimed Biti was misquoted, MDC had no intentions of boycotting the elections.

    “The people of Zimbabwe have embraced the MDC and have placed their hope in the party; hence, whatever the magnitude of the persecution from which ever quarter, the people will vote in their numbers for a new beginning and real transformation which will be brought about by the MDC government,” Chamisa said.

    MDC could have implemented the reforms and all the other things that would have guaranteed free and fair elections, ensured the people’s rights were safe guaranteed and no one would ever be beaten, raped or murdered in political violence. They would have had the full backing of SADC and the international community and, most important of all, of the long suffering people of Zimbabwe. MDC did not implement the reforms because the party did not have the political will and did not care!

    All Mr. Chamisa and his MDC friends care about is that they get back on the gravy train regardless what beating the people get and how many are killed, regardless how dysfunctional the government that emerges. “Whatever the magnitude of the persecution from which ever quarter,” MDC National Organizing Secretary Chamisa said!

    Zimbabweans have heard it from the horse’s own mouth; MDC does not care if they are beaten or ever killed. It would be folly on the part of the people to follow MDC and vote yes in the referendum and thus go through an election process which everyone agrees will be a repeat of the 2008 violence!

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Of course, what Chamisa and his MDC friends care about is that they are voted into power again although they do not tell us their program. What have been their successes since they joined the inclusive government? For me, it has been disaster after disaster and yet they want the electorate to give them another chance.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        I am not against Chamisa and MDC asking the people of Zimbabwe voting them into power even when MDC has not told the people their programme.

        What am I against is MDC telling the people lies about the next elections are going to be free and fair. The party knows fully well it has let the people down by failing to implement the agreed reforms without which it is impossible to stop Mugabe and Zanu PF carrying out their usual dirty tricks including ensuring there is no free media and the use of wanton violence to deny the people their right to free and fair elections.

        MDC not only knows there is going to be violence, the party has gone one step further the party’s leaders have accepted this reality. And yet they still want the election to go ahead, they want the ordinary Zimbabeans to risk life and limb in an election process that, if people voted NO in the referendum, can still be stopped, necessary reforms implemented and then the elections held with all the guarantees of no violence and being free and fair.

        I am against Chamisa and MDC’s reckless and selfish resolve to hold the elections “whatever the magnitude of the persecution from which ever quarter”. Millions of Zimbabweans will vote yes in the referendum because they believed MDC that there would be no violence and,, because the country has no free media, they never got a chance to understand that there was a better option – a NO vote!

        • super mondo says:

          yes you can spell programme.and your views are concurable.a new word for the uneducated warvets.

          • wilbert_mukori says:

            We have to get a NO vote, indeed we must, there are many lives and limbs at stake and more still the nation will have decades of bad governance ahead!

  2. super mondo says:

    tell me what this piece of scum has done to help the people of zim.

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