By Staff Reporter
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has revealed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) shot down suggestions by the main opposition to have samples of the inedible ink set to be used for Monday’s election tested on a prisoner’s finger.
He was speaking at a public meeting Thursday, which was called to discuss the country’s elections.
“We also wanted to test the ink, but we were told the day before yesterday (Tuesday) that we cannot do that,” said the MDC-T top official.
The MDC Alliance is adamant the electoral body was being used by the ruling Zanu PF party to rig the elections using balloting material such as ink and ballot papers.
During elections, voters have their little fingers dipped into a red indelible ink as a mark to show that they have voted.
The opposition has pulled all the stops to try and secure assurances from ZEC they will remain impartial in the election.
These included requests for ZEC to have the ink tested on any Zimbabwean to see if it was good enough for the much-anticipated poll.
The suggestion, Mwonzora said, was rejected by the poll management authority which felt the act would leave the volunteer voter with ink on their fingers which may affect their prospects of casting their ballots on election day.
“The reason was that we cannot test ink because political parties were going to test this ink on a potential voter, thus disfranchising that voter because he or she will have ink on his or her finger; so when he or she goes to vote on the voting date, he or she may be rejected.
“I looked at Justice (ZEC chairperson) Chigumba as she was saying that, I looked at Dr Qhubani Moyo (ZEC Commissioner) as he was saying that, I saw folly written all over their faces.”
Mwonzora revealed his party had suggested the ink be tested on a volunteer prisoner or a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses church, whose religion does not allow them to vote in national elections.
“I simply said we can test this ink on a child, we can test this ink on a voluntary prisoner, we can test this ink on a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses because we know they do not vote.
“But again, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission refused.”