By Bulawayo Correspondent
ZEC commissioner Qhubani Moyo has raised concern over the amount of hate speech targeted at the election management body, and in particular, its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba.
He was addressing journalists and members of civil society during a Zimbabwe National Editors Forum organised meeting in Bulawayo on Friday.
The High Court judge is in the eye of the storm over her alleged bias towards President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party.
The defiant judge is adamant she was a stickler for the law and will not waiver on the demands of the opposition on issues not provided for in the country’s electoral laws.
On Monday, former Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi made sensational claims Chigumba was involved in a clandestine love relationship with a cabinet minister.
Moyo has condemned what he described as sexist violence directed at Chigumba mainly by opposition supporters.
“We have seen very serious violence against the commission. Violence in that there are certain political players who want the commission not to do its work. They have targeted our chairperson as woman.
“In their demonstrations, we have seen heinous acts which are unacceptable where they sing hure hure (prostitute),” he said in apparent reference to a recent MDC Alliance demonstration for poll reforms.
Moyo said it was worrisome the country’s media and other stakeholders kept quiet while the commission was being abused by political players.
“Clearly, we have not heard much condemnation for such behaviour from political parties and the media.
“The factual position is that even if you are in disagreement with her role as chairperson of ZEC, that does not give you the power and authority to call her such deregulatory terms in a chorus that is clearly defined.
“Is it the kind of behaviour that we want Zimbabwe to treat our women? Even if you disagree with ZEC, you need to disagree on facts and etiquette,” he said.
In his address, Moyo however contradicted his boss by indicating the election management body was going to investigate wide claims hundreds of Bulawayo police officers were last Thursday summoned to cast their postal ballots under the watchful eye of their superiors.
“We said as a commission, we will ascertain facts regarding what we have heard and have a proper position regarding that.
“We do not take it lightly. The process is ours. If we delegate the process to other third parties and there are complaints around that, we can sit and say that we cannot investigate,” said Moyo.
His comments however contradict those of Chigumba who told a private weekly that ZEC was not going to follow up on claims of police officers being rail-roaded to vote in front of their bosses.
“No official complaint has been received from aggrieved persons to date and, therefore, there is nothing to investigate at this moment,” Chigumba was quoted as having old the paper weekend.