Rights group intensifies protests against electoral fraud

ROHR argues that ZEC lacks the capacity to run a credible election

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
24 July 2013

Scores of human rights campaigners gathered at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Harare offices Monday and Tuesday, as part of on-going protests against alleged electoral fraud.

The group, all members of the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe, argues that ZEC lacks the capacity to run a credible election given the chaos and controversy that continue to hound the process.

They further argue that the Commission presided over a flawed voter registration process which has left thousands of people unable to vote in next week’s election.

ROHR President Ephraim Tapa said there are several aspects to the electoral process that they are not happy about.

“This is about the rights of Zimbabweans to vote. Millions of young people and the so-called aliens could not register to vote due to bottlenecks within the system.

“We are also unhappy that 4 million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora were denied the right to vote. So the election has already failed to meet the free and fair threshold if millions at home and abroad are being denied their right to vote,” Tapa said.

Despite growing concerns about the process leading up to the elections, the Commission’s chairperson Rita Makarau insists that all systems are in place for July 31st.

But Tapa remained unconvinced, saying that such pronouncements by the Commission were clearly calculated to back President Robert Mugabe’s calls for an early election.

“What’s been happening on the ground negates what the Commission has been saying that it is prepared to hold a credible election, as the just-concluded Special Vote shows. If they failed to run a small-scale election for less than 100,000 people, what about when 6 million people are involved?

“The registration process was marred by discrepancies but, still, ZEC said they were prepared and ready. So we are saying a discredited process can only lead to a discredited poll result,” Tapa added.

The group says it also wants the Commission to re-open registration until the day before polling to allow every eligible voter to participate.

Leading up to the election, ROHR says its members will be picketing at all ZEC command centres demanding the right to vote.

Protests are also taking place at different venues across the UK, as a way of briefing the international community that ZANU PF will fraudulently win the election, according to Tapa.

On July 31st the group will be joined by rights campaigners Action for Southern Africa and UK labour body, the Trades Union Congress, in a demo to be held outside the Zim Embassy in London. The protesters are expected to hand over a signed petition questioning the legitimacy and credibility of the electoral process.

Additionally, in Ireland, pro-democracy group the Zimbabwe Solidarity Campaign will on Thursday conduct a ‘mock vote’ demo outside the City Hall in Belfast.

The group’s coordinator Denford Farai said: “The mock vote will be an illustration of how Zimbabweans abroad have been denied the right by their own government.

“We will meet from 1pm to 8pm. We will also be collecting signatures petitioning the Zim government, through the Embassy in London, to reinstate voting rights for those in the Diaspora,” said Farai.

10 Responsesto “Rights group intensifies protests against electoral fraud”

  1. skindeep says:

    Wishful Thinking. ZANU PF is winning!!!!

  2. Parwei Chamunorwa says:

    The rigging is well calculated and the coercion in many rural communities is appalling. Mugabe is at it again to win by hook or crook. Look at how the law gets twisted right, left and centre just to bolster his rigging and the vote-for-me-or-die campaign. We are in for another horrific 5 year tenure with Mugabe at the helms. God save Zimbabwe at its people. For how long shall we remain under Mugabe’s oppression?

  3. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    With all the excuses that have been made by opposition political party MDC-T about the conduct of the forthcoming elections in this country, will its leadership accept any result that will not work in its favour? I foresee a situation where there will be unnecessary squabbles when ZANU PF which is expected to have a landslide victory wins the elections. ZANU PF has to be prepared for any eventuality if it wins the elections and the opposition political parties are capable for taking the law in their own hands when they lose the elections. Our security forces should be on the lookout for possible disturbances as these guys are hungry for political power which they should not have in the first place.

  4. GeorgeBachinche says:

    The number of Zimbabweans in diaspora is far far less than 4 million. At the must it would be about 400 thousand.

    If 4 million Zimbabweans were in diaspora, trhere would be no accommodation shortage in Zimbabwe. Harare Chitungwiza and Mashonaland East and Central would be empty.

    Conversely there would be cities abroad e.g. London or Joburg bursting at the seams with Zimbabweans.

  5. GeorgeBachinche says:

    If the elctoral process is flawed, if it is a fact that the election will be rigged, why are the MDCs participating. Isn’t it that they are expecting to win?

    • Yepec says:

      The MDCs are participating in the 31 July 2013 elections, based on two reasons:

      (i) for an official record and

      (ii) to expose the other rigging methods used by Zanu PF.

      Even though the Rights Groups are intensifying their protests against an electoral fraud, it does not preclude others from protesting what they see as rigging methods used.

  6. dumbu says:

    I urge those people in diaspora to shut up their minds and wide mouths . We asked you long back to come back home and join us remove this dictator but our requests were falling on rocky ground. Don`t worst your time doing these senseless activities because the answer is right here at home. We can`t remove this dictator with words but with our votes. ROHR, ROHR, ROHR, without your vote is useless and nonsense to us!

  7. Zuze Zvapera says:

    We Say Women Of Zimbambwe Arise , against
    ths Stigma tts about to be created by Rita
    Makarau . Arise women arise ,this wl set e
    wrong perception for Empowering Women ,
    ey will be seen as week ,easy to
    manupulate,Unjust and Unpatriotic ,, Charity Charmba has proven it . Arise Mothers Of
    Zimbabwe ,Arises Daughters Of Zimbabwe u
    cant be used to still our Freedom .

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