Tuesday, 1 April 2008

NYDT Disappointed

As Zimbabweans continue to wait in anticipation to know who their representatives for the next five years are, NYDT would like to raise some serious questions as to the efficiency, transparency and credibility of the Zimbabwe Election Commission to cover this harmonized election. Weeks before the 29th of March, ZEC went to town in the media about how well prepared it was to carry out the voting process and deliver to the electorate the results on time. 48 hours after the closure of polling stations, only 50 out of 210 House of assembly constituencies had been officially announced, raising fears that the election might be stolen.

Not withstanding the huge task and complications that may accompany a historic harmonized election, NYDT would like to express disappointment for the commission's delay in the announcement of all election results. It was NYDT and every Zimbabwean's expectation that a body like ZEC would have the necessary tools to compile and as per the law deliver the election results timely and accurately, so that there is no information blackout that allows other interested parties to announce their own unofficial results- creating confusion, frustration and despondency among the voters. The delay in the election result announcements is an infringement on the rights of the millions of Zimbabwean voters who braved the cold and dark night to queue, some of them traveling from as far as South Africa to cast their votes.

It is saddening that an institution with as important a mandate as that of ZEC can relax on important processes like a nation's selection of its representatives and more so the youths' right to take part in a process which is the determination of their future. How does ZEC explain the none existence on the voter's rolls of thousands of voters who swear they registered to vote and the continued appearance on the voters roll of Zimbabweans long dead and buried? Does this not suggest that ZEC did not have a supplementary voter's roll? How does ZEC explain its refusal for the MDC to check the voter's roll in electric format to avoid embarrassing discrepancies like that of having more than seventy voters claiming they stay in a cabin on a piece of bear land?

Shall we assume that ZEC as a body will run away with the true elections results much like its chairman Justice George Chiweshe literally ran from media practitioners who wanted to know why the election results were delaying?

Zimbabweans needs to know why it has taken so long to announce the outcome, we need to know why the voters roll was still in shambles when you said all was in order weeks before March 29, we need to know why some polling stations opened later than 7am, we need to know why at some voting stations the ballot papers were not in the announced colours, we need to know why ballot papers ran out by 10am at some voting stations, we need to know why some polling agents were refused entry into polling stations, we need to know why some candidates were allowed to talk to voters at the polling centers. We need to know this and we need to know it now!

Whatever the explanations, ZEC has not done enough to ensure that they produce uncontested electoral outcome. If anything, it has confirmed the fears of the voters and destroyed any bit of electoral confidence that was left in the electorate. We also condemn the premature pronouncements of elections as free and fair by the regional observer teams, despite the fact that the announcements of results is not even half-way through.

Inserted by

NYDT Information department

5th Floor York House

Cnr 8th Ave./ H. Chitepo Street


Cell : 011 446 150/ 011 745 758