ZESN gives damning verdict on Zim poll

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network has said that ‘all was not well’ in Wednesday’s elections

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
1 August 2013

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), has said that ‘all was not well’ in Wednesday’s elections, that are pointing to a victory for ZANU PF.

ZESN, which deployed the largest number of observers countrywide, said up to a million people were prevented from voting.

The electoral watchdog said while the environment was relatively calm and peaceful the credibility of Wednesday’s election was seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise millions of voters.

‘The voters’ roll of 19th June, as provided by the Office of the Registrar General, clearly showed that urban voters had systematically been denied the opportunity to register to vote.

‘A total of 99.97 percent of rural voters were registered while only 67.94 percent of urban voters were registered. Over 750,000 urban voters were missing on the voters’ roll compared to rural voters,’ ZESN said in a statement.

They added that in contravention of the law, the final voters’ roll was not made available in electronic format prior to election day. In fact the electronic roll has still not been made available.

‘Thus there is no way to assess any bias on the final voters’ roll. On Election Day urban voters were further systematically disenfranchised. At 82 percent of urban polling stations many potential voters were turned away and not permitted to vote for reasons which include names not appearing on the voters’ roll and turning up at the wrong ward for voting.

‘This is in sharp contrast to rural areas where only 38 percent of polling stations turned away many potential voters. This served to disenfranchise thousands more of urban voters on Election Day,’ added ZESN.

It said these factors on their own fundamentally undermine the degree to which the results of the 2013 elections can be considered to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people.

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