Police vote in Bulawayo

Source: Police vote in Bulawayo – DailyNews Live

Jeffrey Muvundusi      13 July 2018

HARARE – In what is likely to dent the credibility of the forthcoming
polls, police officers here were made to cast their postal vote at
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) headquarters at Ross Camp yesterday in the
absence of both observers and officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec).

Opposition political parties were also caught unawares by this

Long queues of law enforcement agents in plain clothes could be seen
waiting to cast their ballot under the supervision of their bosses, amid
unconfirmed reports that it was the same scenario across town at Fair

Aggrieved officers took to social media to voice their disapproval, with
messages going viral on WhatsApp platform.

This triggered an avalanche of condemnation from opposition parties, who
were quick to allege that the ruling Zanu PF could be rigging the July 30

Police provincial spokesperson Precious Simango referred all questions to
their national headquarters in Harare.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, senior assistant commissioner
Erasmus Makodza, who is the commander ZRP 2018 harmonised elections
committee, confirmed the development, saying some police officers would be
on duty in other provinces that are not their normal workstations.

“Thus, in terms of Section 72 of the Electoral Act, the concerned police
officers will exercise their right to vote through the postal ballot
system, which is being administered by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,”
he said.

“Some provinces like Bulawayo have excess manpower, which is due for
deployment in Matabeleland North province thus necessitating the postal
vote for the affected members.

“In fact, the total number of police officers who applied for the postal
ballot does not go beyond 4 000.

“The rest of the police officers will actually cast their ballots on 30th
July, 2018 as earlier revealed by the ZRP command and Zec in numerous
meetings and workshop briefings.

“The picture circulating with police officers gathered at ZRP Ross Camp is
an old clip captured in 2013 by some media organisations,” Makodza
continued in the statement.

Zec provincial elections officer, Innocent Ncube, told the Daily News
yesterday that he became aware of the voting after he had been approached
by opposition political parties.

“As Zec, we don’t get involved in postal voting because that’s not our

“What was happening there is that it’s an application that was done by an
individual police officer for a postal ballot although their applications
were responded (to) in bulk, but they ended up marking their ballot, which
means they were voting,” Ncube said.

“I was not aware that there was such happening only to be told by (MDC
provincial chair Gift) Banda (who was) complaining about the process”.

MDC provincial spokesperson, Felix Mafa, condemned the voting, describing
it as a fraudulent act.

“As the executive of the province, we have referred this fraud to our
national leadership, especially to the SG (secretary-general) .it most
unfortunate that Zec acts as if it is the flip side of Zanu PF,” Mafa

“Which ballot papers are they using since the printing of the ballot is in
dispute?” he asked.

“The nation and the international community should also be surprised by
this fraudulent act contravening the Electoral Act and the Constitution of
Zimbabwe. Zec chair, Justice (Priscilla) Chigumba must be embarrassed and
ashamed of this day light electoral fraud.”

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Fortune Mlalazi also condemned the

“This is what we have always been raising in terms of the independence of
Zec,” Mlalazi said.

“We obviously reject the issue of postal voting especially where the
process is not monitored.

“There must be something happening and we are totally against that. We are
obviously going to alert the observers and other stakeholders.”

Addressing journalists during a press conference last month, Makodza said
they will deploy 2 372 police officers to the 410 polling stations in the