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.