News / Africa

Zimbabwe PM's Party Declares No Faith in Polls

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) and his wife Grace wave to supporters at an election rally in Chitungwiza, about 35 kilometers south of the capital Harare, July 16, 2013.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) and his wife Grace wave to supporters at an election rally in Chitungwiza, about 35 kilometers south of the capital Harare, July 16, 2013.
— Voting for Zimbabwe's elections got underway this week with special early voting by police and security agents. That voting extended to a third day Tuesday - one more than originally scheduled - in what appears to be a violation of the constitution. The prime minister’s party says it will go to court in an effort to have the votes nullified.

The development prompted Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] party to say it has lost faith in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC].

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a senior official of the MDC, said he was taking ZEC to court over the extension.

“We have lost institutional faith in ZEC, despite our strong respect for individuals in it," said Biti. "We feel that the junta has taken over this process. ZEC is no longer in charge. There were 209 special polling stations across the country trying to service about 70,000 people. In three days they failed to do that."

The prime minister’s party also argues that ZEC inflated the number of security agents in order to rig the elections for President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

The early voting is meant for security forces who will be working on the day when the population of Zimbabwe votes, July 31.  

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s high court will hear an appeal from the MDC to have these early votes nullified.  

Even before this controversy, the elections appeared beset by trouble. Last week, Biti warned that Zimbabwe was about $90 million short in election funding.

The elections, if they go through, are expected to end the power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai after the violent and disputed 2008 elections.

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Comments
     
by: Baruti from: Zimbabwe
July 17, 2013 9:55 AM
Violence, suppression, and fraud is our daily bread. We need the SADC and the UN to put pressure on the government. We are tired of empty promises.

In Response

by: Mutetwa from: Scotland
July 17, 2013 11:58 AM
Our daily bread indeed, considering change is a gradual process is it not fair to say we have started and achieved as much as we could have under the various constraints, so lets have elections and lets see our aspirant leaders flex their intelligence not their pathetic violence that is coming from both MDC and ZANU PF. I say stop crying foul and capture the intelligence of Zimbabwe's 90% plus literacy rate and win like a true leader not crying foul to attract undue attention that will only harm the nation

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