Report regarding breaches of the Electoral Act and the Constitution In Bulawayo East Constituency

via David Coltart

August 10, 2013

Report regarding breaches of the Electoral Act and the Constitution In Bulawayo East Constituency

The recent Zimbabwe election conducted on the 31st July 2013 was fraught with very serious breaches of Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act and Constitution. MDC Senator David Coltart ran in the House of Assembly election for the Bulawayo East Constituency and lost the election by the narrowest of margins – 19 votes. Although David Coltart lost by this narrow margin against an MDC T candidate the manipulation of the electoral process by Zanu PF and its functionaries within Government and the military had an impact on the result and there are several lessons to be learnt from what happened both locally and nationally. This report exposes the general breaches, which affected the entire election and deals with particular breaches which occurred specifically within the Bulawayo East Constituency.

This report has been compiled by the David Coltart Campaign team with the assistance of over 90 election agents who observed the election on behalf of David Coltart and the MDC on the 31st July 2013. These agents had been trained beforehand and comprised a wide range of citizens including chartered accountants, teachers, human rights and political activists, university lecturers and other professionals.

PRE ELECTION

1. Illegal proclamation of the Election itself

President Mugabe’s proclamation of the election date was in breach of section 31H of the previous Lancaster House Constitution (which provision was still in force at the time the proclamation was made) in that he did not consult Cabinet before making the declaration as he was obliged to.

2. Illegal use of the Presidential Powers Act and regulations to amend the Electoral Act

On the 13th June 2013 President Mugabe amended the Electoral Act by means of three Electoral Amendment Regulations (Statutory Instruments 87, 88 and 89 of 2013). He made these amendments in terms of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act. The amendments introduced wide-ranging changes to Zimbabwe’s electoral law and practice. In doing so he was in breach of Section 157(1) of the Constitution and Section 4(2)(c) of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act itself. These both specifically state that the Electoral law cannot be made by regulations promulgated in terms of the Presidential Powers Act and must be made by a specific Act of Parliament.

3. Breach of Section 6(3) of the 6th Schedule as read with section 155(2)(a) of the Constitution

Voter registration exercise

Section 6(3) of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution states that “the Registrar General, under the supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, must conduct a special and intensive voter registration and a voters roll inspection exercise for at least 30 days after the publication day )of the new Constitution)”. This provision was very seriously breached by the Registrar General of Voters in the Bulawayo East Constituency and elsewhere in the country.

For example in Ward 4 of the Bulawayo East Constituency the exercise only started on the 2nd July and ran for only 7 days and concluded on the 9th July 2013. When it started there was initially only one registration centre located at Lochview School which is located on the outskirts of the Constituency and far from the main population centres of the Constituency. This made it very difficult for the residents of Bulawayo East, especially young and poor people, to register. This matter was raised with the Minister responsible for the Registrar General’s office Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa repeatedly and with the ZEC itself. Despite these complaints nothing was done to remedy the situation or to comply with the Constitution.

There was a similar policy adopted countrywide in most urban centres. The Registrar General located insufficient numbers of registration centres in urban areas, they were often located at remote sites (such as Lochview School) and processing of applications was extraordinarily slow. This has resulted countrywide in tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of citizens effectively being disenfranchised because they were not given an opportunity to register in urban areas. Serious anomalies have resulted with for example some rural provinces such as Mashonaland West (in the past a Zanu PF stronghold) registering almost 3 times the numbers of new voters than Harare the capital (an MDC T stronghold). The Constitutional provision is clear – it was to be “intensive” and was to last “30 days” and the exercise, certainly in Ward 4 of the Bulawayo East Constituency, was neither intensive, nor lasted 30 days in every Ward.

Voters roll in Bulawayo East Constituency

An analysis of the only electronic voters roll available prepared for the Bulawayo East Constituency prior to the intensive voter registration exercise done by the Research and Advocacy Unit is revealing in this regard. This analysis is based on several data sets:

  1. 2012 Census[1] (ZimStat, 2012)
  2. 2008 Voters Roll
  3. 2013 Voters Roll (dated 15 June 2013) – note that this is the last available electronic copy of the voters roll and not the Final Roll as used in the 31 July election.
  4. 2008 Delimitation Report

Whilst this analysis does not draw on the final voters roll used in the election itself it is revealing in several respects. Common to the nationwide picture there are hardly any people in the 18 to 23 age band age group as indicated in the following table indeed accordingly the roll only 1799 in the 18 to 29 age groups out of a total adult population assessed by the census to be 28617! Given that Zimbabwe’s population is overwhelming young this is a glaring anomoly which is a nationwide phenomenon.

Table 1 – Voters Roll according to age in Bulawayo East

Age Band       Voters             %
18 – 23

262

1.1%

24 – 29

1,537

6.4%

30 – 39

5,740

23.9%

40 – 49

6,041

25.2%

50 – 59

5,042

21.0%

60 – 69

2,674

11.1%

+70

2,712

11.3%

Total

24,008

A further point to note is that the registration exercise resulted in double the numbers of new voters being registered in Ward 3 (2987) as compared to Ward 4 (1462) even though the census indicates that they almost have the same populations. This is shown in the following table. There is no doubt that the principal reason for this was because there must have been a selective voter registration exercise which focused on Ward 3 but excluded Ward 4. Ultimately this prejudiced David Coltart because although he had support across both Wards he had more support in Ward 4.

Table 2 – 2013 Voters Roll changes in Bulawayo East

  2008 Voters on 2013 Roll    2013 New Voters                
WARD     Males   Females   Total Males  Females  Total  Total Average
3

5,132

4,653

9,785

1,861

1,126

2,987

12,772

31%

4

5,171

4,604

9,775

782

680

1,462

11,237

15%

Total

10,303

9,257

19,560

2,643

1,806

4,449

24,009

23%

The following table indicating the location of new voters further illustrates the point. Over 30% of all new registrations in the Constituency are located in either military barracks and the ZRP. A further 35.7% are located in Ward 3 leaving a small minority from Ward 4.

Table 3 – Location of New Voters in Bulawayo East

LOCATION      WARD      VOTERS            %
ZNA     3     1,241     27.9%
ZRP     3       159      3.6%
    4          5      0.1%
Other    3    1,587    35.7%
   4    1,457    32.7%
Total   4,449 100.0%

It should be stressed that these figures are based on the pre Section 6 of the 6th Schedule (the “intensive 30 day” exercise) which, as stated above, only started in Ward 4 on the 2nd July, only lasted 7 days, and was located in a distant and inaccessible location on the outskirts of Ward 4. In the circumstances it is reasonable to assume even without sight of the final voters roll that the disparity between Ward 3 and Ward 4 was even in more pronounced in the final voters roll.

From Table 3 above it can be seen that 1241 soldiers and 159 policemen and women were registered, a total of 1400 new registrations. From Table “1” above it can be seen that there were only a total of 1799 new registrations in the 18 to 29 age bracket. One must assume that nearly all the new registrations of soldiers and policemen were relatively young people in this age bracket and accordingly it follows that nearly all the new registrations of people under 29 were from the armed services.

Two questions arise. The first is why was there such a disproportionately high number of the military registered in this Constituency – over 30% of new registrations were either Police or Army. What measures were taken by the Registrar General of Voters to ensure that they were able to register and why was it that so few others managed to register prior to the intensive voter registration exercise?

The second is the clear breach of Section 155(2)(a) which states that the State “must take all appropriate measures (to) ensure that all eligible citizens are registered as voters”. This is an obligation which stands along side, but is far more fundamental than, Section 6 of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. Ironically Section 155 is the section the ZEC used to go to the Constitutional Court to ensure that those members of the armed services who failed to vote during the Special Vote would be allowed to, despite the clear dictates of section 81B of the Electoral Act (which barred those who had claimed a Special Vote from voting in any other way). It is clear that neither the Registrar General of Voters nor the ZEC at any time took “all appropriate measures” to ensure that all the eligible voters in Bulawayo East were able to be registered. On the contrary the only possible inference is that they did just the opposite – they secretly registered those deemed sympathetic to Zanu PF or vulnerable to threats from within the military and took all possible measures to make it as difficult as possible for those sympathetic to the MDC  parties or ZAPU to register.

  1. 4.     Disproportionate increase of number of Polling Stations around 1 Brigade ( Brady) Barracks

Whilst the ZEC is entitled to determine the number and location of polling stations its actions in determining the location of new polling stations needs scrutiny.

In 2008 there were 3 polling stations within a 2 kilometer radius of Brady Barracks namely KG VI School, Paddonhurst Preschool and Thomas Rudland School. In 2013 that number was almost tripled to 8 polling stations which were located within a 2 kilometer radius of Brady Barracks, namely  the original Thomas Rudland, Paddonhurst and KG VI and in addition Elangeni, KG VI B, Museum, Carmel School and Romney Park. In 2008 there were 21 polling station overall which was increased in 2013 to 39 polling stations. The disproportionate increase in the number of polling stations around the Barracks is inexplicable. The increase in the number of polling stations around the Barracks was completely out of proportion to the general trend of increasing the number of polling stations.

As voting patterns both in 2008 and indeed this year there was no need for this number of polling stations around the Barracks given the relatively low numbers of votes cast in each. Furthermore there were some vast areas of the constituency, far from the Barracks, which deserved to have extra polling stations, such as Sunninghill, which did not have a single polling station at all.

The following map of the constituency illustrates the location of the 8 polling stations located around the Barracks.

 

One possible and reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that the number of polling stations situated close to the Barracks was specifically selected to enable security forces to manipulate the vote. This was indeed the case as will be shown later. For example in 3 of the polling stations located near to the Barracks at the Museum, Thomas Rudland School, and Paddonhurst the votes cast for Robert Mugabe were remarkably consistent namely, 220, 220 and 224. The votes cast for Robert Mugabe in all the 8 polling stations located around the Barracks, bar one, were significantly greater than anywhere else in the Constituency.

5.  Breach of Section 61(4)(b) and (c) of the Constitution – freedom of expression and themedia

Sections 61(4)(b) and (c) of the Constitution state that all “State owned media of communication” must be “impartial” and afford a “fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions”. As you may be aware there are no independent radio and television stations in Zimbabwe. The only television station is the State owned ZBC. Although there are two nominally independent radio stations, namely Star FM and ZiFM, the former is owned by the Zimpapers Group, which is essentially State owned, and the latter is owned by Supa Mandiwanzira the Zanu PF candidate for Nyanga South.

The ZBC news bulletins were blatantly partisan for the entire electoral period. ZBC TV and radio has been blatantly biased in favour of Zanu PF and have not allowed a fair opportunities for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions. The meetings of MDC Presidential candidate Professor Welshman Ncube have virtually been totally ignored by the ZBC. Although more coverage has been given to MDC T Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai such coverage has been given has been obviously biased and has not given the fair opportunity guaranteed by the Constitution.

That has happened nationwide but it has also affected the campaign in Bulawayo East constituency. The MDC had a series of public meetings in Bulawayo East which were well publicised. For example meetings were advertised in the press at the Hotel Rio on Saturday the 20th July, the Natural History Museum on Friday the 26th July and the Paddonhurst early learning centre on Saturday the 27th July. The MDC candidate for Bulawayo East, Senator David Coltart is a well known figure having been a member of Parliament since 2000, the current Senator for Khumalo Constituency and the current Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. The ZBC, which has studios in Bulawayo, did not come to a single meeting, nor did it cover the meetings in any way.  On several occasions campaign staff telephoned the ZBC advising them of campaign meetings and rallies and inviting them to attend, which they never did.

This stands in marked contrast to many Zanu PF candidates’ meetings held in Bulawayo and its environs which were repeatedly and widely covered. This failure by the State owned media is in clear breach of Section 61 of the Constitution.

6. Biased application of Section 152 of the Electoral Act

Section 152 of the Electoral Act states that “from the date on which an election is called until its result is declared, no person shall deface or remove any billboard, placard or poster published, posted or displayed by a political party or candidate contesting the election.” It was this provision which was used by the ZRP against the MDC election campaign distribution coordinator Malthus Ncube. He was arrested, detained overnight and prosecuted. The allegation against Ncube is that he tore a single A4 size poster of the Zanu PF Council candidate for Ward 3 and that he took down a few of Zanu PF Presidential candidate Robert Mugabe’s posters. The arrest, detention and prosecution was based on the evidence of a single Zanu PF operative despite independent evidence available from several vendors that the posters had fallen down and were not taken down by Ncube. Ncube was held for over 24 hours and when he came to court the ZRP opposed bail being granted. In other words there was a vigorous investigation and prosecution of the alleged offence. Whilst it is no doubt the right and necessity of the ZRP to thoroughly investigate an allegation that the Electoral Act has been breached, this must be done fairly and impartially.

On Saturday morning the 27th July at 8.11am the MDC received a report that 3 men in a white pick up truck were at that time systematically taking down and on occasions destroying and ripping up MDC campaign posters all along the Airport road from the Woodville Drive turnoff to the centre of town. At 8.13am the Officer Commanding ZRP Queens Park East (the nearest police station) was telephoned by the candidate Senator Coltart to report the offences and the request was made that he immediately dispatch a team of policemen to stop those destroying my posters and that he arrest those responsible. At 8.22am the SADC team was telephoned by the candidate and the request made that they go out to witness what was happening.

On subsequent inspection it was noted that every single one of tens of MDC posters which had been put up on the Airport road had been systematically torn down and many destroyed. It was noted that every single one of MDC T Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC T candidate in Bulawayo East Thabita Khumalo’s posters had also been torn down or destroyed. It was observed that two of the posters put up high on electricity poles on Tuesday 23rd July 2013 at the intersection of Woodville Drive and the Airport Road right next to the police road block at that intersection had been ripped down. It should be stressed that it would have taken people with a ladder to get them down. The presumption is that this illegal act was done in full view of policemen at the road block which is only 30 metres from the poles in question.

Despite the report being made to the ZRP it is clear that the Police have not investigated this brazen and repeated breach of Section 152 of the Electoral Act by Zanu PF operatives. It would appear that no action was taken by them to stop this illegal action. It should be stressed that Queens Park East Police station is less than 1km from the Airport Road and the report was made to the Police whilst the illegal activity was in progress. It must have taken at least an hour for the Zanu PF operatives to tear down in excess of 100 posters belonging to the MDC and MDC T over a stretch of some 5 kms of the Airport Road in broad daylight. The point is simply that there has been a biased and selective application of the law in this regard against people working for the MDC campaign team and in favour of those working on the Zanu PF team.

  1. 7.     Breach of Section 21(6) and (7) of the Electoral Act by the ZEC

Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act obliges the ZEC to supply both contesting parties and candidates with copies of both paper and electronic copies of the voters roll. Access to the voters roll is arguably the most important right in any democratic election.

Section 21(6) and (7) of the Electoral Act states as follows:

“(6) Within a reasonable period of the time after nomination day in an election, the Commission shall provide -


(a) free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and


(b) at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in printed form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated.
 

(7) Where a voters roll is provided in electronic form in terms of subsection (3), (4) or (6), its format shall be such as allows its contents to be searched and analysed:

Provided that—

(i) the roll may be formatted so as to prevent its being altered or otherwise tampered with;

i. the Commission may impose reasonable conditions on the provision of the roll to prevent it from being used for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election.”

Despite repeated requests made in writing and verbally both to the ZEC in Harare by the MDC’s National Election Director and in Bulawayo by the Bulawayo East Chief Election Agent neither the MDC nor David Coltart, as a candidate, were supplied with an electronic copy of the voters roll as is their right prior to the election or at all. Indeed a week after the election there is still no sign of the electronic voters roll.

In the Herald newspaper published on Monday the 29th July the Chairwoman of the ZEC Justice Makarau was reported as stating that due to “logistical challenges” the RGV’s office “may not be in a position to issue the electronic copies”. In the same report she stated that “hard copies of the voters’ roll can now be obtained by candidates from the office of the RGV”. As at the commencement of voting the MDC candidate in Bulawayo East not managed to obtain even a hard copy (paper) version of the roll notwithstanding the fact that that is not what the law requires the ZEC to supply each candidate.

It is hard to understand why “logistical challenges” can be the reason for this failure by the ZEC to comply with the Electoral Act as it is far more problematic to print paper versions of the roll and to distribute the same countrywide. In this digital age it is very easy to copy electronic data on to computer disks and to transmit them countrywide in seconds. The voters roll prepared by the Registrar General of Voters is already in digital electronic format so it is incomprehensible why that data could not have been made available in electronic form.

It goes without saying that the provision of the roll in hard copy (paper) form, especially at the eleventh hour, is useless. One cannot search or analyse a paper voters roll at this late stage and even had we had it weeks ago that would still have been difficult. The particular provision in the Electoral Act mandating the supply of an electronic copy of the voters roll is new and it was a key clause which resulted from intense negotiations during the last few years. Section 21 (7) specifically obliges the ZEC to provide an electronic copy which allows “its contents to be searched and analysed” so as to enable political parties to be able to easily search for particular voters and also to easily audit the roll for duplications or other anomalies. Prior to the commencement of voting the MDC nor any of its candidates were never able to scrutinise the roll.

It would appear that the Registrar General of Voters and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cynically and deliberately breached this provision of the Electoral Act and the motivation for doing so is clear – it was designed to ensure that serious anomalies in the voters roll are not brought to light prior to the election and was a precursor to widespread rigging of the electoral process in favour of Zanu PF and its Presidential candidate Robert Mugabe. Both the Chairperson of the ZEC and the Registrar General of Voters are, or at least have been in the past, members or sympathisers of Zanu PF and the inescapable inference is that they have acted deliberately to subvert the electoral process in favour of that party.

The failure by the ZEC to comply with Section 21 of the Electoral Act is a very serious breach of the Act but also of the entire electoral process. The provision of a voters roll goes to the very heart of the electoral process in all democracies but especially in Zimbabwe where repeated elections over the last 13 years have been marred by allegations and proof of electoral fraud centered on the manipulation and distortion of the voters roll. In short the failure by ZEC to comply with Section 21 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act renders the entire election illegal and at the very least means that it can no longer be viewed as free and fair.

POST COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING

  1. 1.     Turning away of voters

On the 31st July 2013 at least 1218 citizens were turned away and denied the right to vote in Bulawayo east Constituency. In almost all the cases those turned away could prove that they were citizens and the vast majority had voted in the Constituency before.

Nationwide at least some 300 000 potential voters were turned away for various reasons, ranging from their names being moved from their wards to other constituencies while names of many others were not on the roll despite having been registered or having inspected the voter’s roll prior to the elections. A substantial number of people voted using fake voter registration slips even though their names did not appear on the voters’ roll. The ZEC itself admitted that 304890 voters were turned away countrywide.

11% of potential voters were turned away in the Bulawayo East constituency, despite some having white registration slips, but being told that they were not on the voters roll. We have the data on voters turned away for 34 of the 39 polling stations in the constituency, and have used these numbers for the calculation. From the telephone calls and information received on polling day, it appears that many of these voters turned away were  voters who wanted to vote for David Coltart. For example tens of voters from the Garden Park Old Age home situated in the Constituency were denied the right to vote – some 122 were turned away at their nearest polling station at United Bulawayo Hospitals. Another example is given in the wife of David Coltart’s Pastor and her domestic worker who have both lived in Selborne Park (situated in the geographical middle of Ward 4) for over 10 years and who have voted there in the 2005 and 2008 election. When they went to vote they found they were not on the Ward 4 roll and on enquiring found they had both been unilaterally transferred to Ward 5 in the neighbouring constituency of Bulawayo Central. They were able to vote there but of course were denied the chance to vote for David Coltart. Their story is typical of hundreds save that most were not able to vote at all because they were not able to travel to different constituencies or Wards.

Interestingly, as will appear from Table “4” far more voters were turned away in Ward 4 than in Ward 3. Proportionately David Coltart got more support in Ward 4 than in Ward 3 and as a result the turning away of voters in such large numbers directly impacted the election result, given that the final tally was so close.

Table 4 – Voters turned away

Number of Voters turned away – Ward 3 484
Number of Voters turned away – Ward 4 734
Total Number of Voters turned away (34 Stations) 1218
Total Number of Voters (34 Stations) 11210
% of Voters turned away 11%

Table 5 – Voters turned away according to location

Area Polling Stations Ward 3 Ward 4 Turned Away
Burnside and Fortunes Gate Burnside Garage 332 46
Whitestone School 391 20
Leeside Shops 414 59
Malindela and Ilanda Hillside Primary A 320 40
Hillside Primary B 226 37
Hillside Infants 75 38
Hillside Teachers College 338 36
Woodlands and Ascot Tennyson Primary 400 25
Woodlands Garage/Fazak 394 47
Townsend High 283 36
UBH 287 122
Matshemhlope Petra High 193 30
Masiyephanile 201 not avail
TCZ (Hilltop) 382 72
NUST 96 not avail
Waterford and Lochview Waterford School 96 3
Waterford Shops 247 36
Riverside Stimulation Center 111 14
Hotel Rio 314 15
Lochview School 419 58
Killarne and Mahatshula School of Mines 125 11
Old Nic Mine 300 2
Centenary School 270 10
Nitestar Drive In 115 14
Mahatshula and Woodville Eastview School 297 not avail
Mahatshula Primary A 401 15
Mahatshula Primary B 270 26
amazoni Primary/Pre-School 97 not avail
Woodville Primary 50 not avail
Romney Park, QPE and P/Hurst Thomas Rudland School 700 60
Romney Park Catholic Center 477 38
Paddonhurst Pre-School 600 62
Carmel Primary 265 69
Khumalo, Suburbs, Parklands Elangeni 380 10
St Thomas Aquinas 450 42
KG VI A 165 24
KG VI B 337 22
Museum 350 17
Khumalo Primary 460 62
TOTAL 1218
2008 6205 5423
% increase 4343 3788
43% 43%
  1. 2.     Poor quality ink and poor lighting in tents

The ink used to mark voters in terms of Section 56(4)(b) of the Electoral Act (to indicate that a voter has voted) was sub standard and washed off easily. Each voter was required to dip a finger in pink ink. However this ink came off very easily and even using normal soap it came off with a few washes. Anyone using an appropriate chemical would be able to easily remove the ink and then vote again, and again.

That situation was compounded by the fact that many of the polling stations were in tents with very poor lighting even at midday which made it virtually impossible for polling officers to adequately check that potential voters did not vote more than once.

Given the highly unusual pattern of voting around Brady Barracks with Robert Mugabe and the Zanu PF Parliamentary candidate getting votes in some 7 polling stations within a 2 kilometer radius of the Barracks completely contrary to both historical trends and even trends elsewhere in the Constituency on the day (see paragraph 5 below) it is not unreasonable to suggest that the combination of poor quality/easily erasable ink and poor lighting in polling tents facilitated multiple voting by young soldiers who were seen by agents at all these polling stations. This concern is further heightened when one considers that in 4 of these stations the numbers voting for Robert Mugabe were almost identical ie 220, 220, 224 and 330.

  1. 3.     Absence of ultraviolet light detectors

Historically polling stations in Zimbabwe have always had ultraviolet light detecting machines to check whether potential voters have ink on their fingers. These machines of course provide the most secure manner of checking whether a potential voter has already voted. For reasons which have not been explained by the ZEC there was not a single machine used in Bulawayo East Constituency. In one or two stations there were machines but none were used.

The absence or non-use of these machines seriously compromised the legitimacy of the elections and would have been a key component in the facilitation of double voting.

  1. 4.     Presence of Police during the count in breach of Section 62 of the Electoral Act

Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act makes it clear that the roll of the Police is solely confined to keeping order at polling stations. Section 55(6) states:

55(6) A presiding officer may call upon a police officer for assistance in keeping order at the polling station and the area surrounding it, and every police officer so called upon shall provide whatever assistance is needed.

(7) The Commissioner-General of Police shall ensure that sufficient numbers of police officers are available in the immediate vicinity of each polling station to provide immediate assistance; if called upon in terms of subsection (6).

(7a) Police officers referred to in subsection (7) –

.    (a) shall have the sole functions of maintaining order and preventing contraventions of the law so that voters may freely cast their votes;

.    (b) shall not interface with the electoral processes at the polling station;

.    (c) when inside a polling station, shall exercise their duties under the direction and instruction of the presiding officer.

Section 62 is even stronger in that it makes it clear that during the counting process the Police are to play no role whatsoever and are not even meant to be in the room where the counting takes place.

62(2) At the counting of the votes the following persons and no others may be present—

(a) the presiding officer and such polling officers as he or she may consider necessary and not more than the prescribed number of monitors and observers; and

(b) the candidates, and every chief election agent and election agent of each candidate (or, if section 95(5)      applies, of each political party) who , at the time of the commencement of the counting, is present within the polling station or in the immediate vicinity of the polling station: Provided that a candidate or his or her chief election agent or election agent may not be present at the counting of the votes at an election for which that candidate was not nominated ; and

(c) any roving political party election agent who, at the time of the commencement of the counting, is present within the polling station or in the immediate vicinity of the polling station.

Policemen are not “polling officers”. Their job in terms of Section 55 is solely to maintain law and order. Accordingly during the voting process they are not meant to interfere in any way with the voting and should not be gathering information. The only other role allowed for policemen is to assist illiterate voters to vote in terms of Section 59 of the Electoral Act if such illiterate voters do not have anyone they would like to assist them.

Despite these clear provisions of the law police officers were heavily involved in the process in every single polling station in Bulawayo East. In all 39 polling stations the MDC election agents reported that police throughout the day got voting figures from the Presiding Officer and then communicated the same by cell phone or radio to some central Police command.

The following are extracts of a sample of reports received from Election Agents:

Also concerning was the behaviour of the police officer on duty at the door. She approached the PO at regular occasions and asked for numbers which she promptly sms’d to someone having written them down in a note book. When I approached the Presiding Officer about this was told none of my business”  (comment from a Chartered Accountant).

“As early as 10am I raised concern with the Presiding Officer that the police officer. who seemed to be in charge of the polling station was interfering with the polling process. He had the rank of Chief Inspector.  At regular intervals of 30 minutes he would go to the Presiding Officer’s desk and obtain information which he would write in his diary and then relay to someone on a cellphone from an office adjacent to the polling station. I noticed that that from the time when the polling station opened all voters with voting slips were being referred to the Presiding Officer and the police officer would come and sit by the presiding officer’s desk and listen in to the conversation and took down notes.” (comment from a IT specialist who was an election agent at a polling station where over 100 voters were turned away).

David Coltart’s Chief Election Agent, a retired Manager of a Building Society, reported as follows:

1             At the Presiding Officers training, Mr. Ncube – District CEO in answer to my question, confirmed that one policeman would be allowed inside the station for security and would not     participate in the voting in any way or have any communication with the ZEC staff or interfere with the electoral process.ZEC manual Section 5.

2             There was more than one policeman within a station in many cases.

3             In many of the stations, the presiding officer was supplying the police with information. I believe the information to be the numbers passing through and the numbers turned away.

4             My attempts to advise the presiding officer that this was not allowed had no effect. Mr. Ncube had gone to great lengths to explain that the PO was in command of the station and police regardless of rank should take notice of their instruction.  This did not happen and on no occasion to my knowledge, did the Presiding Officer attempt to correct the police activities.

5             At Petra High School polling staion, I approached a Chief Inspector and asked him why he was taking notes , as this was not his allowed duty.  I was told that they were personal notes for his later use. He noted my visit and was later seen by me handing papers to another policeman who drove off.

6             Other police were making notes of whoever filled in the visitors register.

7             I could not accurately identify the information taken or supplied

8             Upon arrival at Byo East Command centre I lodged a complaint with both Mr. Ncube and Mr. Masaisai (the Constituency returning Officer) who agreed information should not be taken or exchanged. Nothing happened. 

9             At Hillside Primary I witnessed Police outside the station radioing in “numbers turned away”

10          The roaming agent for Ward 4 also reported similar happenings in the afternoon to Mr. Masaisai who was his usual unresponsive self.  Masaisai asked if it was still happening as I had reported similarly in the morning.

11          The above was happening throughout both wards although not at every station. Some Presiding Officers admitted to supplying information when requested.

12          At St.Thomas Aquinas , the Headmaster and Presiding Officer showed me his manual where he had misinterpreted section 16 where the police radio or telephone may be used to communicate with the Constituency Command centre. ZEC were using their phones to report hourly.  It is not clear to whom the police were giving information copied from the Presiding Officer records.

13          At the close of voting when the ballot numbers were being assessed at Hillside Training College, a policeman unseen before arrived to join the one inside together with the one outside. The new arrival began writing down the ballot numbers. There were now three inside.  One of the agents objected and the presiding officer  agreed and asked him to stop taking notes which he did and left.

14          In the meantime, I was asking Masaisai to witness what was happening in his station not  50 meters  away.  He basically refused. 

15          At the count, the Act 62(2) is clear that no police officer be present.  I had already left Hillside when the same policeman and another returned. The same agent together with the   presiding officer lodged a complaint. Masaisai did not eject the two police officers but allowed them to sit in a corner.

It now appears that police were present at every station during the count.

At a debriefing meeting held for the MDC Bulawayo East Election agents on the 5th August it was confirmed that Police officers were involved at every polling stations and recorded voting figures the entire day. More concerning was the serious breach of Section 62 of the Electoral Act in that Police officers were present and involved in the counting at every polling station. The Act is very clear in this regard – Police officers were not allowed to be inside the counting hall and were.

Given the wider concerns relating to the manipulation of the result and allegations of replacement of ballot boxes and ballot stuffing in other constituencies, the breach of Section 62 of the Electoral Act is a serious, not pretty or peripheral, violation of the Electoral process. Given that the MDC Election Agents in Bulawayo East were all well trained and backed up by a team who knew the dictates of the Electoral Act and prepared to enforce it as much as possible, the Police were constantly monitored. However the same cannot be said for the vast majority of polling stations throughout the country especially those in rural areas. In many rural polling stations there were either no Election agents at all and in most those agents were not properly trained, had no communication whatsoever on the election day with the candidate or the Chief Election Agent and would have been entirely subject to the power and whim of local Police officers.

In view of the fact the Commissioner General of the ZRP has made it clear on numerous occasions in the past few years that he supports Zanu PF it is reasonable to assume that most senior police officers would have acted countrywide in support of Zanu PF. The ramifications regarding the integrity of the vote in remote rural polling stations are obvious. If the Police played such an active, brazen and illegal role in Bulawayo East when they were so closely observed then it is safe to assume that they would have played an even more intrusive role in the process in rural constituencies.

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

  1. 1.     Historical and general Voting trends in the constituency 

If the voting figures in the July 2013 election in Bulawayo east Constituency are to be believed both Robert Mugabe and the Zanu PF Parliamentary candidate enjoyed a dramatic increase in support from the last election held in 2008. Robert Mugabe’s vote increased from 844 votes in 2008 to 3319 votes in 2013 393 % increase in support. The Zanu PF Parliamentary candidate’s vote went from 1020 to 2514 in 2013 a 246 % increase. This appears from the tables below.

Table 6 Presidential results in 2008

BULAWAYO PRESIDENTIAL RESULT Dated 12 April 08
CANDIDATES TOTALS
Ward/Polling Stns SM MT RG LT
BYO EAST
WARD 3
Khumalo Primary

246

226

35

1

508

Centenary Primary

120

111

23

0

254

Woodville Primary

146

102

57

1

306

Thomas Rudland Primary

291

381

67

0

739

Mahatshula Primary

221

194

28

1

444

KGVI Primary

282

214

88

0

584

NUST Tent

38

37

8

0

83

Nite Star Drive-InTENT

94

88

24

0

206

Old Nic Mine TENT

110

145

44

2

301

Paddonhurst PreScho TENT

343

419

199

961

Postal votes No info
WARD 4
Lockview Primary

119

107

23

2

251

Masiyephambili Primary

152

142

22

0

316

Waterford Primary

175

86

28

0

289

Hillside Primary

238

263

41

2

544

Whitestone Primary

225

143

22

0

390

Townsend Secondary

139

90

11

1

241

Hotel Rio TENT

169

132

35

1

337

Hilltop College TENT

73

63

7

0

143

Leeside shops TENT

264

209

35

2

510

Tennyson Primary

257

223

31

3

514

UBH

112

138

16

0

266

Postal Votes No info
Constituency Total

3814

3513

844

16

8187

Table 7 Presidential results in 2013

Dumiso

Robert

Kisinoti

Welshman

Morgan

TOTAL

Dabengwa

Mugabe

Mukwazhe

Ncube 

Tsvangirai

VOTES

Khumalo Primary School

0

129

0

53

372

554

%

0%

23%

0%

10%

67%

100%

 
NUST TENT

2

18

0

13

58

91

%

2%

20%

0%

14%

64%

100%

 
Centenary Primary schl

1

59

1

25

215

301

%

0%

20%

0%

8%

71%

100%

 
Woodville Primary schl

1

64

1

23

156

245

%

0%

26%

0%

9%

64%

100%

 
Thomas Rudland schl

8

220

0

45

405

678

%

1%

32%

0%

7%

60%

100%

 
Nite Star Drive In TENT

2

19

0

17

64

102

%

2%

19%

0%

17%

63%

100%

 
St Thomas Aquinas Primary School

7

85

0

43

293

428

%

2%

20%

0%

10%

68%

100%

 
Old Nic Mine TENT

10

122

0

21

189

342

%

3%

36%

0%

6%

55%

100%

 
Mahatshula Primary School A

6

170

1

39

255

471

%

1%

36%

0%

8%

54%

100%

 
Mahatshula Primary School B

2

58

0

31

173

264

%

1%

22%

0%

12%

66%

100%

 
East View School

2

72

0

31

192

297

%

1%

24%

0%

10%

65%

100%

 
 
Amazoni Pre School

1

23

0

5

69

98

%

1%

23%

0%

5%

70%

100%

 
King George VI A

4

111

0

22

209

346

%

1%

32%

0%

6%

60%

100%

 
King George VI B

1

50

0

8

106

165

%

1%

30%

0%

5%

64%

100%

 
National Museum TENT

4

220

0

24

129

377

%

1%

58%

0%

6%

34%

100%

 
Carmel Primary School

2

120

0

12

138

272

%

1%

44%

0%

4%

51%

100%

 
Paddonhurst Pre-schol TENT

12

224

0

34

356

626

%

2%

36%

0%

5%

57%

100%

 
Romney Park Catholic Training Sch.

1

124

0

42

312

479

%

0%

26%

0%

9%

65%

100%

 
Elangeni Training Centre TENT

0

330

0

4

63

397

%

0%

83%

0%

1%

16%

100%

 
School of Mines

4

32

0

0

74

110

%

4%

29%

0%

0%

67%

100%

 
 
WARD 4
Waterford Primary Schl

1

24

1

1

55

82

%

1%

29%

1%

1%

67%

100%

 
Waterford Shopping Centre TENT

8

45

1

42

145

241

%

3%

19%

0%

17%

60%

100%

 
Riverside Stimulation Centre

0

20

0

12

79

111

%

0%

18%

0%

11%

71%

100%

 
Hotel Rio/Sandra Jones Centre TENT

5

72

1

39

194

311

%

2%

23%

0%

13%

62%

100%

 
Leeside shops TENT

8

79

0

68

262

417

%

2%

19%

0%

16%

63%

100%

 
Lockview Primary Schl

6

99

2

41

261

409

%

1%

24%

0%

10%

64%

100%

 
Hill Top/TCZ TENT

4

71

0

48

256

379

%

1%

19%

0%

13%

68%

100%

 
Masiyepambili Primary School

5

40

0

33

123

201

%

2%

20%

0%

16%

61%

100%

 
UBH Hall

1

54

0

27

198

280

%

0%

19%

0%

10%

71%

100%

 
Woodlands Garage/Fazaks

1

85

0

41

257

384

%

0%

22%

0%

11%

67%

100%

 
Townsend High School

5

43

0

29

204

281

%

2%

15%

0%

10%

73%

100%

 
Tennyson Primary Schl

5

74

0

43

287

409

%

1%

18%

0%

11%

70%

100%

 
Hillside Infant School

1

44

1

14

174

234

%

0%

19%

0%

6%

74%

100%

 
Hillside Teachers College

1

61

1

31

241

335

%

0%

18%

0%

9%

72%

100%

 
Hillside Junior School A

7

57

3

30

220

317

%

2%

18%

1%

9%

69%

100%

 
Hillside Junior School B

1

53

1

15

156

226

%

0%

23%

0%

7%

69%

100%

 
Petra High School

1

39

0

32

119

191

%

1%

20%

0%

17%

62%

100%

 
Whitestone Primary Schl

0

52

0

52

278

382

%

0%

14%

0%

14%

73%

100%

 
Burnside Garage

1

57

1

26

241

326

%

0%

17%

0%

8%

74%

100%

TOTAL VOTES BYO EAST

131

3319

15

1116

7578

12159

PERCENTAGE

1%

27%

0%

9%

62%

100%

WARD 3

70

2250

3

492

3828

6643

PERCENTAGE

1%

34%

0%

7%

58%

100%

WARD 4

61

1069

12

624

3750

5516

PERCENTAGE

1%

19%

0%

11%

68%

100%

Table 8 Parliamentary results in 2008

Ward/Polling Stns Candidates
BYO EAST MDC MDCTsv ZanuPF UPP PUM FDU Indep Indep  
WARD 3
Khumalo Primary

155

246

41

3

6

11

42

Centenary Primary

77

121

26

1

6

5

18

Woodville Primary

101

105

71

4

4

6

14

Thomas Rudland Primary

173

396

89

18

12

5

43

Mahatshula Primary

155

199

42

4

15

3

26

KGVI Primary

156

240

113

4

8

13

47

NUST Tent

23

40

11

0

1

0

7

Nite Star Drive-InTENT

57

100

27

0

7

2

13

Old Nic Mine TENT

102

128

48

0

7

4

11

Paddonhurst PreScho TENT

210

403

229

10

6

14

59

Postal Votes
WARD 4
Lockview Primary

78

105

34

3

12

2

16

Masiyephambili Primary

112

141

31

2

6

3

18

Waterford Primary

124

108

32

1

6

5

12

Hillside Primary

181

269

42

7

12

4

28

Whitestone Primary

211

135

22

1

1

9

12

Townsend Secondary

106

95

16

4

2

1

15

Hotel Rio TENT

144

120

50

2

6

1

12

Hilltop College TENT

51

65

7

1

4

14

1

Leeside shops TENT

220

199

41

4

10

10

22

Tennyson Primary

198

221

29

10

13

11

33

UBH

81

149

19

1

2

4

9

Postal Votes
CONSTITUENCY TOTALS

2715

3585

1020

80

0

146

127

458

Table 9 Parliamentary results in 2013

Parliamentary

David 

Tinashe 

Kevin  

 Norman

Thabitha

Kevin

Tapson

Stanley

TOTAL

Coltart   

Kambarami   

Kasosera 

Kaviza     

Khumalo

Muzvidziwa   

Tivarere 

Moyo

VOTES

215

4

1

1

223

103

0

0

547

39%

1%

0%

0%

41%

19%

0%

0%

100%

44

1

1

1

36

11

1

1

96

46%

1%

1%

1%

38%

11%

1%

1%

100%

115

1

1

1

131

53

1

1

304

38%

0%

0%

0%

43%

17%

0%

0%

100%

64

1

1

1

112

68

1

1

249

26%

0%

0%

0%

45%

27%

0%

0%

100%

160

2

3

1

307

192

5

4

674

24%

0%

0%

0%

46%

28%

1%

1%

100%

40

1

1

1

45

17

1

1

107

37%

1%

1%

1%

42%

16%

1%

1%

100%

202

1

1

1

159

1

1

1

367

55%

0%

0%

0%

43%

0%

0%

0%

100%

56

45

2

1

120

114

1

2

341

16%

13%

1%

0%

35%

33%

0%

1%

100%

140

1

1

1

179

141

1

1

465

30%

0%

0%

0%

38%

30%

0%

0%

100%

98

1

1

1

108

47

1

1

258

38%

0%

0%

0%

42%

18%

0%

0%

100%

101

7

0

2

129

58

1

1

299

34%

2%

0%

1%

43%

19%

0%

0%

100%

19

1

1

1

58

21

1

1

103

18%

1%

1%

1%

56%

20%

1%

1%

100%

126

0

2

0

125

92

1

1

347

36%

0%

1%

0%

36%

27%

0%

0%

100%

55

1

1

1

58

1

1

1

119

46%

1%

1%

1%

49%

1%

1%

1%

100%

69

0

1

0

85

221

1

0

377

18%

0%

0%

0%

23%

59%

0%

0%

100%

71

0

1

2

88

109

0

0

271

26%

0%

0%

1%

32%

40%

0%

0%

100%

161

1

1

1

254

206

2

2

628

26%

0%

0%

0%

40%

33%

0%

0%

100%

155

1

0

0

213

109

1

1

480

32%

0%

0%

0%

44%

23%

0%

0%

100%

31

0

0

0

43

321

0

0

395

8%

0%

0%

0%

11%

81%

0%

0%

100%

38

1

1

1

47

30

1

1

120

32%

1%

1%

1%

39%

25%

1%

1%

100%

42

1

1

1

42

15

1

1

104

40%

1%

1%

1%

40%

14%

1%

1%

100%

128

3

0

1

71

32

0

1

236

54%

1%

0%

0%

30%

14%

0%

0%

100%

49

1

1

1

43

12

1

2

110

45%

1%

1%

1%

39%

11%

1%

2%

100%

138

2

4

2

106

56

1

3

312

44%

1%

1%

1%

34%

18%

0%

1%

100%

204

0

1

2

149

62

0

62

480

43%

0%

0%

0%

31%

13%

0%

13%

100%

157

6

1

1

155

88

1

0

409

38%

1%

0%

0%

38%

22%

0%

0%

100%

166

4

1

2

154

52

0

0

379

44%

1%

0%

1%

41%

14%

0%

0%

100%

103

1

1

1

65

1

1

1

174

59%

1%

1%

1%

37%

1%

1%

1%

100%

91

1

0

1

141

45

0

0

279

33%

0%

0%

0%

51%

16%

0%

0%

100%

153

2

0

4

159

66

0

0

384

40%

1%

0%

1%

41%

17%

0%

0%

100%

152

1

0

1

94

34

0

0

282

54%

0%

0%

0%

33%

12%

0%

0%

100%

191

6

0

3

148

55

0

0

403

47%

1%

0%

1%

37%

14%

0%

0%

100%

116

1

1

1

89

1

1

1

211

55%

0%

0%

0%

42%

0%

0%

0%

100%

142

1

1

1

145

1

1

1

293

48%

0%

0%

0%

49%

0%

0%

0%

100%

140

0

0

0

128

52

0

0

320

44%

0%

0%

0%

40%

16%

0%

0%

100%

96

1

1

1

83

1

1

1

185

52%

1%

1%

1%

45%

1%

1%

1%

100%

113

1

1

1

49

24

0

1

190

59%

1%

1%

1%

26%

13%

0%

1%

100%

236

1

1

1

103

1

1

1

345

68%

0%

0%

0%

30%

0%

0%

0%

100%

162

1

1

1

116

1

1

1

284

57%

0%

0%

0%

41%

0%

0%

0%

100%

4539

104

37

44

4560

2514

32

97

11927

38%

1%

0%

0%

38%

21%

0%

1%

100%

1960

70

21

18

2520

1915

22

21

6547

30%

1%

0%

0%

38%

29%

0%

0%

100%

2579

34

16

26

2040

599

10

76

5380

48%

1%

0%

0%

38%

11%

0%

1%

100%

The dramatic increase in support for Robert Mugabe is particularly suspicious. Bulawayo in general has been known as a hot bed of opposition to Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in general ever since 1980. Bulawayo has battled more economically than other centres since independence and much of its decline is blamed on a succession of Zanu PF Governments. People in this constituency have not benefitted from the land reform programmes or even Zanu PF’s indiginisation programme.

Most of the support for David Coltart came from voters who chose RGM and MT as their Presidential candidate, and who then made a conscious choice to vote for David Coltart for Parliament. Specifically, on a Constituency wide basis, approximately 21% (1 in 5) ZANU PF voters went on to vote for David Coltart while 36% of MDC-T voters went on to vote for David Coltart.

Table 10 – votes for David Coltart

Robert Mugabe Kevin Muzvidziwa/No Vote Voter who voter for RM % of Voters who voted RM
then DC and then DC

3319

2634

685

21%

 

Morgan Thabitha Voters who % of Voters who Welshman Ncube David Coltart Voters gained by
Tsvangirai Khumalo/ voted for MT voted MT DC from ZANU and
No Vote then DC and then DC MDC-T supporters

7578

4840

2738

36%

1116

4539

-3423

1.     2.         Anomalies in polling stations situated close to barracks

The first anomaly in the results is discovered in examining for example the 5 of the  polling stations around the Barracks. Examining the 34 polling stations in the rest of the constituency, a picture emerges of 28% of ZANU PF voters going on to vote for David Coltart. In the 5 around the Barracks, this figure plummets to 6%. This brings us to conclude that in those 5 stations around the Barracks, voters were forced to vote in a particular pattern, namely for ZANU PF all the way through. This is not consistent with the numbers in areas where people are given freedom to choose. We calculate that had the 1,114 ZANU-PF voters in these 5 stations been given the freedom to choose, and replicated the rest of the constituency, an additional almost 250 votes would have accrued to David Coltart, winning the election.

Table 11 – votes for David Coltart

Votes cast for Robert Mugabe Votes cast for Kevin Voters who % of Voters
Muzvidziwa/No voted for RM who voted RM
Vote then DC and then DC
The

2205

1585

620

28%

Constituency
Norm excluding
Stations around
Barracks
The 5 Polling

1114

1049

65

6%

Stations around
the Barracks
Combined figures

3319

2634

685

21%

 

Thabitha Voters who % of Voters
Morgan Tsvangirai Khumalo/No voted for MT who voted MT
Vote then DC and then DC

Constituency norm excluding stations around the Barracks

6487

4063

2424

37%

5 Polling stations around the Barracks

1091

777

314

29%

Combined figures

7578

4840

2738

36%

 

Welshman Ncube David Coltart Voters gained by DC from ZANU
and MDC-T Supporters

Constituency norm

997

4047

-3050

5 Polling stations around Barracks

119

492

-373

Combined figures

1116

4539

-3423

The second anomaly, tied in to the first, was that ZANU-PF received a disproportionate number of the their votes from 5 of the polling stations immediately around the Barracks, as compared with the rest of the Constituency. ZANU-PF Presidential candidate received 34% of his total votes from the 5 polling stations, and the ZANU-PF Parliamentary candidate received 42% of his total votes from these 5 stations. These 5 stations comprised 19% of the total vote (2,350 of 12,159 votes cast on the day)

From the final voting patterns around the Barracks and in general it will be seen that there was a massive increase in votes for Zanu PF which occurred in the polling stations immediately adjacent to Brady Barracks and the ZRP Police station in Queens Park East.

Table 12 – Presidential

Robert Mugabe Morgan Welshman Others
Tsvangirai Ncube
Total number of

3319

7578

1116

146

votes-Byo East
Number of Votes received

1114

1091

119

26

in the 5 stations around
around the Barracks
Percentage of individuals

34%

14%

11%

18%

total votes from the 5
Polling Stations around
the Barracks
Number for Votes received

2205

6487

997

120

in the rest of the
Constituency
Percentage of individuals

66%

86%

89%

82%

total votes received from
the rest of the
Constituency

Table 13 Parliamentary

Kevin Muzvidziwa (Zanu PF candidate) Thabitha   Khumalo David     Coltart      Others     Total

Total number of votes in Bulawayo East

2514

4560

4539

314

11927

Number of votes received in 5 stations around Barracks

1049

777

492

27

2345

Percentage of individual’s total votes from the 5 Polling stations around the Barracks

42%

17%

11%

9%

100%

Number of votes received in the rest of the Constituency

1465

3783

4047

287

9582

Percentage of individual’s total votes received from the rest of the Constituency

58%

83%

89%

91%

100%

MDC Election Agents in these polling stations reported disproportionately high numbers of young men with shaven heads who voted in these stations. An Election agent at one station directly opposite the Barracks reported approximately 100 young men lined up at 6am ready to vote. An election agent at another station reported seeing a similar number of young men arrive after dark in the evening to vote at this other station. As indicated elsewhere the numbers of people voting for Robert Mugabe at some of these stations was astonishingly similar – 220, 220 and 224. In the 4 of the stations closest to the Barracks Robert Mugabe received 994 votes, more than all the votes he received in the entire constituency in 2008. Although no video evidence was captured of soldiers or young people being bused in to the Constituency as happened in Mount Pleasant in Harare one witness has given evidence of numerous buses being seen driving in to Bulawayo East Constituency early in the morning of the 31st July from Imbizo Barracks which is located just outside the municipal boundaries of Bulawayo.

In the context of the covert method of registration of soldiers and police officers prior to the 15th June, the disproportionate number of soldiers and policemen registered as new voters (30% of all new registrations), the disproportionately large increase in the number of polling stations around the Barracks, the presence on the day of large numbers of young men with shaven heads at these same polling stations and the voting patterns at the same polling stations which are completely at variance with historical voting patterns in the area, the failure to have ultra violet light detectors, the use of erasable ink, it is reasonable to argue that the high number of votes cast for Zanu PF in polling stations around the Barracks were manufactured.

All this presents strong evidence to suggest that security forces were used to illegally increase the votes cast for Zanu Pf through multiple voting and other measures.

Whilst the absence of all the illegalities mentioned in this report would have resulted in David Coltart winning the Bulawayo East Constituency there are far more important national implications resulting from the findings of this report. These voting patterns had a major bearing on Robert Mugabe’s votes and of course in the calculation of the seats decided upon by means of proportional representation.

Furthermore if the military and Police were used in this manner in Bulawayo East Constituency which was closely monitored by a team of highly proficient Election agents one can but wonder what happened in remote rural polling stations.

CONCLUSION

From this report it will be apparent that the electoral process in Bulawayo East Constituency was subverted through a detailed and carefully laid plan executed with military precision by a variety of Government offices and institutions. This involved the systematic and deliberate breach of a variety of laws contained in the both the Electoral Act and the Constitution. At the core of this was the non availability of the voters roll in electronic format which, had it been available, would have exposed much of the electoral fraud. Its continued non availability over a week after the election has been concluded, despite repeated post election requests for it, is further proof of how pivotal it is to exposing the widespread voter fraud.

The main purpose of this is to demonstrate that that the breaches of law in Bulawayo East contributed significantly to benefit Zanu PF and its candidates. Given the fact that this happened within the context of a well organized urban campaign illustrates all the more how the electoral process could have been subverted in remote, relatively disorganized rural constituencies. If Zanu PF was able to achieve this result in a highly scrutinized, well organized constituency, how much more would it have been able to achieve in remote rural constituencies where political parties and candidates opposed to Zanu PF had far less resources and oversight. Accordingly it is hoped that this report may help explain how some of the thoroughly extraordinary results in favour of Zanu PF were achieved in those rural constituencies.

MDC Bulawayo East Campaign Team

Bulawayo

9th August 2013

– See more at: http://www.davidcoltart.com/2013/08/report-regarding-breaches-of-the-electoral-act-and-the-constitution-in-bulawayo-east-constituency/#sthash.cGwO7PQB.dpuf

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    Ed Morrisby 7 years ago

    A thoroughly comprehensive analysis and well documented exposure of the fraud and vote rigging, conducted by Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party, during the 2013 elections. Based on this report there can be NO doubt in the minds of the regional observer missions and wider International community that the recent results be declared Noll and Void.

    My hopes and prayers for the Zimbabwean people is that MDC and MDC-T have equally diligently composed similar reports to present before the observer missions, the courts and international community for their perusal.

    For I fear anything short of such a comprehensive report, as produced by DC, would expose Morgan Tsvangirai and his party as cry babies screaming fowl without backing up this cry with hard facts.

    I solute your resolve David.

  • comment-avatar
    Chimpunu 7 years ago

    A well researched report which makes it glaringly obvious that this election was blatantly stolen.What a disgrace! For someone to stand up and proclaim having been given the mandate to govern by the people really shows how low some people can stoop. Disgusting to say the least.

    • comment-avatar
      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      Robert can do anything,he stops at nothing till he grabs what he wants. Haana kana ganda kumeso (haanyari)