Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed legislation that brings the nation’s election laws in line with the constitution, Virginia Mabhiza, permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, told lawmakers today. The law allows for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to take control of the voters’ roll from the Registrar General’s office, which oversees registration of births and deaths and identity cards. Opposition parties, including the Movement for Democratic Change, have criticized the government for failing to give them access to an electronic copy of the roll in elections between 2000 and last year.Full Article: Mugabe Signs Zimbabwe Election Law to Align It With Constitution - Bloomberg.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has rejected the final report of Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Election Observer Mission (SEOM) validating Zimbabwe’s July 31 polls as free, fair and credible. SEOM leader Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe on Monday delivered the final report which stated the Zimbabwean election had been held in a credible manner, Zimnbabwean news agency New Ziana reported. But former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party said the mission had failed to take note of various irregularities which it deemed were too many for the election to be given credence.Full Article: BERNAMA - Zimbabwe's Opposition Party Rejects Sadc's Final Election Report.
Zimbabwe’s highest court has dismissed a case challenging President Robert Mugabe’s re-election last month and upheld the re-election of longtime leader. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku told a packed courtroom Tuesday that Mugabe had been elected in accordance with Zimbabwe’s laws. He made the ruling while dismissing an application that had been filed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the July 31 election. Terrence Hussein, the lawyer for Mugabe, said, “We are quite happy because it has brought stability and certainty. We can now all move on. I think we all now know who our president is for the next five years.” Mugabe will be sworn in no later than Thursday, thus extending his 33-year rule over Zimbabwe by another five years.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe Court Upholds Mugabe's Election Victory.
Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC withdrew a court challenge against President Robert Mugabe’s re-election through a vote the party had denounced as fraudulent, saying on Friday it would not get a fair hearing. Mugabe, 89, and his ZANU-PF party were declared winners of the July 31 election but the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had filed a motion for the constitutional court to overturn the result. A hearing on the MDC challenge, which had alleged widespread vote-rigging and intimidation by ZANU-PF, had been planned for Saturday. “I can confirm that we have withdrawn the presidential election petition. There are a number of reasons, including the failure by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release critical evidence in this matter,” MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said. The decision appeared to end any hope of further action by the MDC through the courts, which Tsangirai’s party have said are dominated by ZANU-PF along with other state institutions in the southern African nation, formerly known as Rhodesia.Full Article: Zimbabwe's MDC drops court challenge to Mugabe re-election - World | The Star Online.
Some 300,000 voters were turned away and 206,000 received assistance from election officials during last week’s disputed vote, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said Thursday. The commission said nearly 3.5 million people cast their ballots in last weeks elections which extended President Robert Mugabe’s 33-year rule after he won 61% of the presidential vote against rival Morgan Tsvangia’s 34% . ZEC’s statistics show that nearly 305,000 people were turned away from voting with the largest number – about 64,000 – turned away in the Harare alone. The voters were reportedly turned away because their names were missing from the voters’ roll, they were registered in another ward or they did not have adequate identification.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: 300,000 Voters Turned Away, ZEC Admits (Page 1 of 2).
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has for the first time admitted that elections held last week were tainted with massive irregularities which saw 511 791 voters disenfranchised either through assisted voting or being turned away. The MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai issued a statement saying the admission by the nine-member electoral commission vindicated their position that the elections were a monumental farce as “Zanu PF assisted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the State machinery stole the people’s victory. In the figures released by ZEC today at the request of the MDC-T, a total of 206 901 voters were assisted to vote while 304 890 people were turned away with Harare province recording the highest number of 64 483 such people,” the MDC-T said. A total of 3.4 million people voted in the disputed election.Full Article: ZEC admits polls were flawed — Nehanda Radio.
A Zimbabwean election commissioner has resigned, citing doubts about the integrity of results showing a big win for President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party but dismissed as a fraud-riddled farce by his main challenger. Mkhululi Nyathi said he quit the nine-member Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over the way it managed the presidential and parliamentary vote held on Wednesday. His resignation is likely to add to the dispute over the election both inside and outside Zimbabwe. The vote, which looks certain to extend 89-year-old Mugabe’s 33-year rule in the southern African nation, passed off peacefully and received broad approval from African observers. Africa’s oldest leader, Mugabe has governed the former British colony, then known as Rhodesia, since independence in 1980. Mugabe’s main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has denounced the July 31 election as a “huge farce”, alleging massive rigging by ZANU-PF. Zimbabwe’s largest domestic observer group has also called the elections “seriously compromised”Full Article: Zimbabwean election official resigns over disputed poll | Reuters.
The chaos in the voting process has strengthened allegations that Zanu-PF, with the help of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), wants to steal the polls by disenfranchising people in urban areas which are perceived to be MDC strongholds. Several police officers who failed to cast their ballots during the special vote also failed to vote on Wednesday after finding their names crossed off the roll, an indication that they had voted. ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau told journalists the commission did not have an idea of how to deal with the police officers who were turned away other than investigating. “We are investigating cases in which such officers didn’t vote because the register indicated they voted as their names were crossed out,” she said. Only names of those who had successfully cast their ballots were supposed to be crossed off the voters’ roll. Makarau confirmed some voters had been turned away despite producing registration slips as evidence. She said the registration slips of those who failed to vote did not indicate the wards in which they were supposed to cast their ballots.Full Article: Zim voters' roll 'in shambles', thousands fail to cast ballots | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian.
The first official results from Zimbabwe’s election and unofficial tallies indicated Thursday that President Robert Mugabe’s party was headed for a landslide win. But Mugabe’s main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, rejected Wednesday’s poll as a sham and warned that the country was headed for a crisis. A number of observers and civil society groups said Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party made huge gains in areas that were strongholds for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, including Matebeleland South, Manicaland and Masvingo. The party had an overwhelming lead in early parliamentary results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. ZANU-PF made no official victory claim over Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change, withdrawing what it described as an unauthorized tweet from the party account that had claimed a resounding win. But a senior ZANU-PF figure told Reuters news agency that his party had crushed the opposition.Full Article: Crisis looms in Zimbabwe over election results - latimes.com.
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.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Rights Group Intensifies Protests Against Electoral Fraud (Page 1 of 2).
Security forces and civil servants who failed to vote under the special vote dispensation will now cast their ballots with the rest of the electorate next Wednesday. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday summoned political parties to deliberate on the fate of those who failed to vote where it was resolved that all registered citizens must be allowed to vote. It was resolved that the commission would address legal issues to facilitate the votes. Sources close to developments said MDC-T, which had been quoting Section 81B:2 of the Electoral Act that says: “A voter who has been authorised to cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any other manner than by casting a special vote in terms of this Part,” concurred with others after it was pointed out to them that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to vote. Those who applied to cast their ballots under the special vote were drawn from the uniformed forces, election officials and civil servants who will be deployed far from their wards on July 31.Full Article: ZEC Allows Special Voting On Wednesday | ZimEye.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday started opening, verifying and tallying ballot papers cast nationwide during the special vote held between July 14 and 15. The process was done in the presence of political parties, regional and international observers.ZEC chief elections officer Mr Lovemore Sekeramayi and his deputy Mr Utoile Silaigwana superintended over the process while some commissioners also attended. Zanu-PF and MDC-T hailed the process saying it was transparent to the extent that no manipulation of results could be done.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: ZEC Opens Special Ballots (Page 1 of 2).
Zimbabwe’s prime minister, who is also the country’s opposition leader, has said that it has lost faith in the electoral commission after “chaotic and disorganised” special voting for security forces ahead of key polls. Long queues and the late delivery of ballot papers marked the two-day early vote, which started on Sunday for police officers and soldiers who will be on duty on July 31 when the rest of the country votes. Many security force agents found themselves unable to vote, drawing condemnation from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday.Full Article: PM criticises 'chaotic' Zimbabwe voting - Africa - Al Jazeera English.
The delays yesterday during the special voting for police and other Government officials who are likely to be deployed away from their constituencies on July 31 were a result of events, not fundamental flaws in the electoral process or its organisation. The main problem was that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission did not have a final list of candidates, with their political affiliation, until late on Friday when the results of several court cases became known. But that final list for this weekend is the same final list for the main Election Day at the end of the month. So the ballot papers that were available for special voting are the same ballot papers that will be issued on July 31.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission On Course.
There was outrage across the country on Tuesday when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s chairperson Justice Rita Makarau announced that there is not going to be any extension for the voter registration exercise, a development which yesterday saw the Faceless Gladiator Baba Jukwa calling on other political parties to tighten their screws on the ZEC. Makarau yesterday said the exercise would end on Tuesday midnight and there will not be any extension. This came at a time when when many citizens were upon arriving at their usual polling station, told that they should present themselves at a different station previously unknown to them. One man who declined being named told ZimEye he arrived at the Showgrounds polling station in Kadoma only to be told that he should present himself at Mazowe at Mukosa polling station, Ward 2. The ZEC yesterday admitted these problems but chose only to extend the period by a paltry 7 hours to midnight on the same day.Full Article: Baba Jukwa Angered as ZEC Refuses To Extend Voter Registration | ZimEye.
A shadowy group which claims to be working in partnership with another group calling itself Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (IdaZim) has created an online platform where people were able to check if their names appear on the voters’ roll. The data is found on their website www.myzimvote.com where one simply logs in their national identity number and instantly receives information, including their full names, ID, their Ward number and constituency where they were registered to vote if they voted in previous elections. The normal procedure prevailing if one wanted to check for the same information was to personally visit voter registration centres where one was expected to produce their identity particulars before the information could be checked for them by officials from the Registrar-General’s (RG) Office. Zimbabweans seeking this service have been complaining about enduring long queues and spending a lot of time at the registration centres just to have this information checked for them. Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau yesterday said the commission was aware of the website and was carrying out investigations to establish who was responsible for it.Full Article: Shadowy group launches voter registration website.
Zimbabwe began registering new voters on Monday in a push to meet a Constitutional Court order to hold elections by July 31, even though one of the two main parties wants a delay to allow for reform of the media and security forces. President Robert Mugabe has said he will comply with the court order to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections, angering the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of his chief rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. To help ensure a fair vote, the MDC wants first to open up broadcast media to all parties and to agree a code to stop army and police meddling in politics. But the court ruling leaves little time for such reforms and the state media, still firmly in the camp of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, have stepped up attacks on Tsvangirai and the MDC in the last month. Senior police and army officers have openly campaigned for Mugabe, labelling Tsvangirai a Western puppet.Full Article: Zimbabwe starts registering new voters as poll looms | Reuters.
Voteer registration, now a standing cabinet agenda item, once again dominated the government policy-making body meeting this week, resulting in Justice Minister Patrick Chinamsa, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Rita Makarau, and Registrar General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede being instructed to meet to deal with the issue threatening to throw the electoral process into chaos. Chinamasa, Mudede and Makarau were expected to meet yesterday to find ways of smoothening voter registration which is increasingly becoming a contentious issue ahead of crucial general elections. The meeting was expected to take stock of all the problems which affected the mobile voter registration exercise, discuss ways of how “aliens” will get documents to enable them to register as voters as provided for by the new constitution and look at plans to establish schools as registration centres where headmasters will become commissioners of oath to allow all Zimbabweans to be able to register.Full Article: Cabinet tackles voter registration chaos - The Zimbabwe Independent.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday met officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Registrar-General’s Office but failed to set up a new date for the commencement of mobile voter registration with no indication of when Treasury would release money for the exercise. At least US$21 million is required to conduct the exercise that was expected to begin last Thursday but failed to take off due to lack of funds. Addressing journalists after the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Charter House Office, ZEC acting chairperson Mrs Joyce Kazembe said her organisation was ready to start the registration any time if funds were made available.Full Article: Tsvangirai meets Electoral Commission.
Election results will be electronically transmitted countrywide to undo claims of vote tampering, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said. Acting ZEC chairperson Mrs Joyce Kazembe said the commission was installing software linking the national command centre with all district offices nationwide to enable ZEC to electronically transmit election results without fear of people tampering with the outcome.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Goes Digital.