Zimbabwe has a history of elections that are far from free and fair – and several ominous developments suggest that nothing will different at the end of July, when the country votes in the first election since the resignation of Robert Mugabe. Of particular concern is the apparent complicity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which is issuing controversial new voting regulations that undermine the secrecy of the ballot. As in previous polls, the commission has become increasingly obstructive to engagement as the elections draw closer. Another major worry is the unconstitutional nature of the ballot itself, which features two columns, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s face at the top of the right-hand column. Although the ballot should have been in alphabetical order, it is not – apparently to allow the president to occupy the prime position at the top. This attempt to give the ruling Zanu-PF an advantage and has been roundly criticised by opposition parties and civil society groups. It is a blatant example of partisanship and undermines the last vestiges of ZEC independence.Full Article: New rules and ghost voters threaten Zimbabwe’s vote | News | Africa | M&G.
Jul 19 2018