Guns blazing, ZEC scoffs at Chamisa’s “mischievous demands”

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has literally told the country’s biggest opposition, the MDC Alliance, to adhere to the law or go hang.

In response to the opposition grouping led by Nelson Chamisa, ZEC said demands for a voters’ register were “premature.”

“The demand is premature. A read only voters’ roll copy was provided because it is subject to correction. Electoral Act does not refer to provisional voters’ roll but the final in analyzable format. Parties urged to be patient as this is being finalized,” said ZEC in a statement.

Chamisa who led a hugely successful demonstration attended by thousands of cheering supporters also demanded that his party be allowed to audit the voters roll and be involved in the procurement of ballots. But ZEC is having none of it suggesting this would run afoul of the Constitution.

“The request lacks legal basis. However, stakeholders are free to audit at their expense once the voters’ roll is out.

“The procurement and security of the ballot paper material is the exclusive right of the Commission in terms of section 239g of the Constitution, an administrative matter. The Opposition demand is a direct infringement of section 235(1) and (3) of Zimbabwe Constitution.

“However, parties shall be allowed to observe printing of the ballot papers when the time comes and may approach PRAZ (Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) on procurement matters,” ZEC said.

ZEC also denied it has serving security services personnel within its ranks describing the claim as “mischievous.”

“Disbanding the National Logistics Committee or altering composition of this Committee requires changing the Electoral Act. Assistance sought from staff from civil servants and public institutions have no direct role in administering the ballot,” said ZEC adding the same goes for the accreditation committee that the opposition has demanded be disbanded.

Regarding demands for access to its servers, ZEC was emphatic arguing there already has been an attempt to hack its new system.

“Just like banks denying its customers access to servers, ZEC treats this as security issue as there was an attempt to hack into the BVR system before and ICT practitioners understand this,” the poll management body said.

The Electoral Act, ZEC added, was recently amended to create sub-polling stations in a polling area where voters exceed 1000 limit, adding there will be no shifting of polling stations but additional capacity within the vicinity.

While the opposition demanded that ZEC allows monitors, Zimbabwe only allows for observers according the commission.

ZEC also dismissed demands for the diaspora vote arguing “the Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter and we stand guided.”

The MDC Alliance also seemed to suggest that elections should be held in abeyance until their demands are met but ZEC, in its response, said once a proclamation has been made there is no going back and only the law can stop the electoral process.