The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) continues to raise concerns about incredible flaws that have come to define preparations for the 31 July elections, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission being exposed as unacceptably unprepared for an exercise of this magnitude.
And these have already cast doubts about the credibility of the poll, not only from CSOs, but perhaps more interestingly from some political parties who themselves are in this contest.
On 15 July, ZESN issued a press statement that highlighted the huge task ahead that still has to be done for the country to avoid yet another disputed poll outcome and all this in the next two weeks!
The “special vote” that has been widely publicised for its chaos has become the pointer of the worst that could happen on the 31 st July, with ZESN noting that “during the two days of the special voting, ZESN observers deployed at all special voting polling centres noted that the process was marred by serious logistical challenges countrywide. ZESN notes that the process continues to be disorganised an indication that ZEC was unprepared to conduct the special voting process.”
It stands to reason that if ZEC struggled with 60,000 voters, what then about the millions eligible to vote on 31 July, and this is surely a legitimate concern recalling that some members of the uniformed forces went berserk after frustrations ran high because of delays to allow them to vote.
Interesting that it is the riot police known for their brute force in dealing with civilians from soccer fans to WOZA who were called in to control their “riotous” colleagues!
ZESN noted that “on Sunday 14 July 2013, ZESN observers reported challenges that included the late opening of polling stations, shortage of sensitive voting materials such as indelible ink, ZEC stamps, approved voters’ lists, ballot papers and ballot boxes.”
Imagine the millions of people who are eagerly waiting for the 31 st July being frustrated by these logistical nightmares, the riot police will surely be kept busy, and we all know the favoured weapons of these brutal cops.
“ZESN is seriously concerned that the chaos that prevailed during the special voting process serves as a telling and worrying indicator that could repeat itself on 31 July,” ZESN said.
And it is not just ZESN concerned but all progressives who want to a see a smooth process despite all the stacks against this rushed election.
Many indeed see these elections as a chance for the country’s renewal from years of pillaging and intolerance by the “founding fathers”, but it is certain there are just too many spanners that are deliberately being thrown into the works by the usual suspects.