News / Africa

Zimbabwe Police, Soldiers Cast Early Votes Contested by PM

A member of the Zimbabwean police force casts her vote in the capital, Harare, July 14, 2013. A member of the Zimbabwean police force casts her vote in the capital, Harare, July 14, 2013.
x
A member of the Zimbabwean police force casts her vote in the capital, Harare, July 14, 2013.
A member of the Zimbabwean police force casts her vote in the capital, Harare, July 14, 2013.
Reuters
Police officers and soldiers who will be on duty during Zimbabwe's July 31 election began voting on Sunday, the eve of a court hearing to stop the process because Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party says police numbers were inflated.

Zimbabwe will hold presidential and parliamentary elections and police chiefs have been campaigning for Tsvangvirai's arch-rival, President Robert Mugabe, telling rank-and-file to vote for the veteran leader and his ZANU-PF party.

The MDC says junior officers were threatened by superiors to rally behind Mugabe, a charge dismissed by the police. Mugabe, 89, has been in power for 33 years and long criticized by political rivals and the West for perceived authoritarianism.

While so far largely peaceful, the election process has been criticized as disorganized, under-funded and plagued by irregularities.

The state electoral commission says 69,000 police officers, 2,000 prison officers, 164 soldiers and thousands of election officials were taking part in a two-day special vote starting on Sunday.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has queried the police figures and the High Court will on Monday hear a request by the party to stop the voting.

The MDC says only 41,133 members of the police are eligible to vote, according to a Ministry of Finance salary schedule.

In 2008, police, soldiers and prison officials were forced to vote in front of their superiors in barracks and camps, but are now casting ballots in public polling centers monitored by all political parties and foreign observers.

Police officers could be seen at voting centers in the capital Harare queuing patiently to cast their votes.

Tsvangirai, making his third attempt to end Mugabe's long grip on power, says nothing has been set in place to ensure a vote fairer than previous elections.

Tsvangirai, who tried in vain to have the next election delayed, said ZANU-PF was using bureaucratic obstacles and tricks such as keeping dead people on the electoral roll to try perpetuate itself in power.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid