Major Flaws in Zimbabwe’s Elections
AUGUST 1, 2013 Tiseke Kasambala
Zimbabweans are waiting for official results from yesterday’s presidential elections but President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party seems confident of victory. We’ve spent weeks investigating the run-up to the poll as well as informally watching the voting, and what we saw supports wider concerns raised today by local monitors. They report that a high number of “ghost” or duplicate voters were present on the voters’ roll and that large numbers of people were unfairly turned away from polling stations.
In the run-up to election day, we documented major flaws in the electoral process, including highly partisan statements by high-ranking members of the security forces, restrictions on and intimidation of journalists and civil society activists, and a skewed voter registration process that made it difficult for those perceived to be opposition supporters to register.
These flaws and irregularities call into question the credibility and fairness of the election. Serious allegations like these should be fully and independently investigated before the electoral authorities declare an outcome.