One million barred from vote: monitors

One million barred from vote: monitors

THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network has said that this week’s elections could not be considered to “reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people” due to a number of pre-election issues.

ZESN which deployed over 7,000 personnel to observe the harmonised poll says the credibility of the election results are seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise urban voters “up to a million voters”.

Solomon Zwana, ZESN chairperson urged the African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to be “objective in their evaluation of these elections and take into cognisance the pre-election issues that have a bearing on the ability of citizens to genuinely choose their government”.

Zwana said the group also noted irregularities in the voter registration excise as having contributed greatly to the election outcome.

“Before election day the voter registration process was systematically biased against urban voters. The voters’ roll of 19 June as provided by the office of the registrar general clearly showed that urban voters had systematically been denied the opportunity to register to vote,” he told reporters at a news conference in Harare.

“A total of 99,97% of rural voters were registered while only 67,94% of urban voters. Over 750,000 urban voters were missing on the voters roll compared to rural voters. The final voters roll was not made available in electronic format prior to Election Day”, he said.

He added that the voters were further disenfranchised on the voting day.

“At 82% of urban polling stations many potential voters were turned away and not permitted to vote for reasons which include names not appearing on the voters roll. This is in sharp contrast to rural areas where only 38 percent of polling stations turned away many potential voters”, he said.

Zwana say these factors on their own “fundamentally undermine the degree to which the results of the 2013 harmonised election”.

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