According to figures released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), candidates representing Robert Mugabe’s party now dominate the country’s rural and urban councils, having won 1,493 out of a total 1,958 wards. The MDC-T won 442.
Since 15 August, we have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get these results from ZEC, so that we may share them with the public.
Presumably, official election results are public information. They tell the public useful things like:
- Who is your councilor
- How many people voted for which candidate
When we’ve asked them to share the results, ZEC has told us that they’re too long to publish in the press (too expensive). They’ve also failed to publish them on their website, and whilst they have said they could email them to us, they have yet to respond to numerous email and telephone requests to do so.
Meanwhile, there are council run offs scheduled for 11 September, in 3 wards where the two top candidates got the same number of votes.
If the council elections are important enough to be held, and there are resources for three run offs, surely ZEC could also share the results from the other 1,955 wards? Maybe many Zimbabweans don’t care who their Councillor is. But for those who do, and who want to engage in a democratic, participatory process to hold their elected officials to account, the first step is to know who that is.