Chamisa demands ZEC scrapping of postal ballots cast by police

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By Anna Chibamu

MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has demanded the nullification of votes cast via postal balloting by police officers last week or face unspecified action from his party.

This comes amid opposition claims junior officers were forced to vote in front of their bosses.

At a media briefing in Harare Tuesday, Chamisa also claimed some police officers were even forced to vote when they had not applied to vote through postal ballot.

“Our officers were asked to vote in the presence of their seniors,” Chamisa said, arguing that police officers were denied their right to vote in privacy.

“That vote was not secret. We have such information. Officers are calling us.

“We therefore want this ballot to be nullified so that the postal vote is done according to the law in full secrecy and not forcing police officers to be on the ballot when they have not applied for it. We want this to be sorted out.”

ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba has said police officers were among the highest applicants under the postal ballot facility, accounting for 4 616 out of a total of 7 461 requests.

Apart from the police, other postal ballot applicants included those in Defence, Electoral officers as well as those in service of the country abroad.

Describing Chigumba as “arrogant”, Chamisa insisted ZEC was working in cahoots with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF to manipulate the vote in the incumbent’s favour.

“Confidentiality and privacy are now being compromised by ZEC and the ruling party Zanu PF.

“We can no longer trust ZEC. We are now losing confidence in ZEC’S capacity to be an honest umpire and be an independent objective referee.”

Chamisa insisted the ZEC boss has admitted erring in the conduct of the postal ballot process.

He threatened unspecified action if the election management body failed to heed the main opposition’s demands.

His threats follow MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora’s urgent High Court application on behalf of the popular party in attempts to seek the reversal of the controversial voting process by police.

He argued the process violated provisions of the Electoral Act.

Chamisa, a top contender for president in the July 30 poll, said he will this Friday also raise his grievances with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his group of Elders, who are expected in the troubled country this Thursday.

However, in all the accusations thrown at her, Chigumba has remained unshaken, insisting all her actions were backed by the country’s laws.

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