By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dismissed allegations of rigging in favour of ruling Zanu PF, raised by opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) during a Chipinge by-election.
In a statement that followed accusations by CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, that Zanu PF leaders in the Manicaland areas were forcing voters to take pictures of their slips after voting, ZEC said its officers were well versed with the Electoral Act to allow such moves.
Zanu PF ‘thugs’ within Chipinge were also accused of forcing voters to declare illiteracy so they could be assisted to choose their preferred candidate.
“RIGGING ALERT – At the Chipinge by-election, Zanu PF thugs are forcing citizens to say they cannot vote and pose as “assisted voters.” They are being forced to take pictures of their ballot slips. Those who’ve voted are being interrogated about who they voted for,” said Mahere on Twitter.
“Our polling agents made a formal complaint to ZEC. Police officers stepped in to remove Zanu PF thugs from the surrounds of the polling stations. Our polling agents report that those purporting to assist voters have been limited to assisting no more than two people each.”
⛔️RIGGING ALERT – At the Chipinge by-election, Zanu PF thugs are forcing citizens to say they cannot vote & pose as “assisted voters.” They are being forced to take pictures of their ballot slips. Those who’ve voted are being interrogated about who they voted for. pic.twitter.com/iphl3XXEdh
— Fadzayi Mahere🇿🇼 (@advocatemahere) July 23, 2022
CCC won the election, managing 1 291 votes against Zanu PF’s 1 205.
“ZEC would like to inform the public that allegations of voters being forced to take pictures of their marked ballots at polling stations in ward 16 of Chipinge are false,” said ZEC.
“The presiding officers are very much aware of provisions of the law in that regard. Section 57 of the electoral Act clearly states that the ballot must be marked secretly while Section 4(d) of the fourth schedule states that it is prohibited to reveal the identity of the candidate voted for.
“Section 25 of the electoral regulations of 2005 further state that no person shall, within a polling station, take any photograph while polling is in progress except with the permission of the constituency elections officer, or take any photograph of any person within a polling booth.”
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The Nelson Chamisa led CCC has been at the fore front, accusing ZEC of always handling electoral matters in a warped manner that benefits ruling Zanu PF.
Recently, appointment of its commissioners was questioned, after former Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s daughter, Abigail, was selected as one of the institutions handlers.