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MDC-T says ZEC is the 'engine room' of electoral fraud, must rid itself of CIO agents
16/10/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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THE MDC-T has described the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as the “engine room” for electoral fraud that has kept Zanu PF in power for nearly four decades, saying the body must immediately rid itself of the CIO agents within its ranks.

Party spokesperson Obert Gutu said ZEC has neglected its constitutional duty to ensure free, fair and credible elections opting to play by the rules of Zanu PF.

Gutu demanded that ZEC immediately start by firing members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) it allegedly employs.

“The ZEC secretariat has been the engine room of the electoral rigging process in Zimbabwe,” he said in a statement this Sunday adding, “Previous experience has taught us that certain key figures within the ZEC secretariat do not report to the commissioners. They actually report directly to their political masters at Munhumutapa and Chaminuka buildings.”

The MDC-T is among the approximately 18 opposition parties convening under the National Elections Reforms Agenda to demand the reconstitution, provision of adequate funding and independence of ZEC so it can effectively deliver credible elections.

Gutu said ZEC had failed to stop electoral malpractices synonymous with President Mugabe’s party including vote buying using state funds, violence, manipulation of voters’ roll, ballot stuffing and multiple voting.

“For now, ZEC is coming across as a lame duck and weak organization that is routinely bullied around by the Zanu PF regime. The MDC would like to call upon Justice Rita Makarau (ZEC chairperson) and all her other commissioners in ZEC to immediately wake up and smell the coffee!” he said.

According to Makarau, introduction of a biometric voting system, among other electoral reforms, will cost about $30 million—funds which she said will come from the broke government and donors. Progress in the implementation of the agreed reforms has been slow owing to lack of funds.

While demanding the disclosure of the donors, Gutu lamented the secrecy shrouding ZEC operations.

“There is a very disturbing and worrisome veneer of secrecy surrounding such issues as where and who prints ballot papers, who supplies the indelible ink that is used at polling stations etc.

"We robustly demand and declare that all these essential matters pertaining to the running of free and fair elections should be fully and adequately disclosed and discussed with all political parties that are participating in the electoral process.”


The MDC-T also condemned ZEC for failing to condemn recent pronouncements by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko during a recent Zanu PF rally in Norton where he bragged about his party’s access to state resources for use during campaigns.

“Surprisingly, ZEC did not come up with any public denunciation of this patently unlawful and unconstitutional utterance by Vice President Mphoko,” Gutu said.

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