Zec explanation not convincing

via Zec explanation not convincing – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 24, 2015

ATTEMPTS by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to explain away the controversy surrounding Hurungwe West MP Keith Guzah’s election would embolden critics of the country’s electoral systems.

Zec has been specifically accused of bias in the way it conducts elections with some opposition political parties accusing the polls body of taking sides with the ruling Zanu PF party.

Major opposition parties have resorted to boycotting elections with the June 10 polls where 10 by-elections were held being the case in point.

Hurungwe West became a flashpoint in the run-up to the by-elections that were also held in Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces because of the violence.

Zec did not at one point raise its voice against flagrant violation of electoral rules by Zanu PF as the ruling party employed all manner of foul tactics against Temba Mliswa, who was standing as an independent candidate in the polls.

Some of the issues were brought before the courts, but Mliswa’s case was dismissed on a technicality.

However, the latest case where Guzah has been exposed as an unregistered voter in the constituency would leave Zec’s credibility in tatters no matter how the commission tries to wriggle itself out of the mud.

Zec is not disputing the fact that Guzah was not a registered voter in Hurungwe West, but instead, his name appeared in the Magunje constituency.

He did not even vote in the constituency because he was not eligible to do so. Zec went on to declare him the duly elected MP despite records showing that he was registered in Magunje.

However, Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau has leapt to Guzah’s defence, saying he was “lawfully and procedurally nominated as a candidate for the Hurungwe West by-election”.

Her explanation that Guzah’s name was not electronically transferred to the Hurungwe West roll “because of a transposition of the block numbers relating to his old and new registrations” would unfortunately find few takers.

Analysts have drawn parallels to the case of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono who was last year denied an opportunity to join Senate as a replacement to the late Kumbirai Kangai because he was not registered in Buhera.

Gono had reportedly only transferred his name after the 2013 elections, which were used to select Manicaland senators for Zanu PF.

The commission would always come with an explanation for this discrepancy, but these cases do not raise any hope that the transfer of the voters’ roll from Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede’s command to that of Zec would improve the administration of elections in this country.

Zec has been quick to defend suspected Zanu PF transgressions, but the explanations raise more questions than answers.

The commission, in this instance, should prove to Zimbabweans that the playing field is level and the rules that apply to Zanu PF are similar to those governing the conduct of other contestants.

It is not only the issue of Guzah’s missing name that needs to be explained when a postmortem of the Hurungwe West by-election is done, but Zec’s performance.

The institution has to do a lot to convince Zimbabweans that is impartial and does not pander to Zanu PF whims after this debacle.


  • comment-avatar
    Tsuro 7 years ago

    When are you going to stop mourning and learn, Zanu is a Mafia/Taliban and cannot be moved by sanctions, conscience, threats or any of these political writings. It is a mafia malware which now controls everything in Zim and is a law unto itself. …..if you cannot get into the trenches and fight it with arms, then forget it and live and dine in the jungle Zim. At least some of us have moved on and forgotten about it and only read about this Taliban like regime in the news