ZEC drama continues
MDC Alliance called for an impromptu press conference to address the alleged voting process which took place in Bulawayo yesterday.
In Biti’s opening remarks he mentioned that the alliance will not accept the move of uninformed postal voting. He claims that this is a fraudulent act which is pushing the alliance in difficult corners, which will result in the making of difficult but obvious decisions.
By Rumbidzai Nyabako
Biti says that they received calls in the morning enlightening them of the voting procedure that took place at Rose Camp. Biti acknowledges the fact that voting is a right and that Section 74 of the Electoral Act facilitates postal voting. However, Biti’s argument is that it is impossible to recruit thousands who are purported to have voted at Rose Camp. He also highlighted that it can only be possible if ZEC has intentions of rigging and manipulating the voting procedure.
Biti accused ZEC of breaching a contract that they will be pre-deployment of officers to the stations that they will be monitoring, he added that there is no justification for the thousands who voted at the same station as postal voters. Biti claims that not only did ZEC breach that contract, they also breached the Electoral Act which states that one who is illegible for a postal voting must have applied first for that postal vote and that a list of the ones illegible must be availed to the public before any proceedings.
Biti added that one does not wake up like a phantom and claim a postal vote. Another issue of the MDC Alliance is that the officers voted in the absence of ZEC officials, party agencies, monitors and observers. Biti went on to describe this move as a blatant attempt to steal this election. Although Chigumba clearly stated that a police camp is a prohibited area to establish a polling station. Biti has identified the voting exercise as unlawful when Chigumba is singing about the law.
MDC Alliance is also shocked that ballot papers have been distributed to an unlawful area when Chigumba has stated that it takes 30 days to print all the ballot papers on 2 July this month. This has triggered so many suspicions and questions by the party. Biti questioned the ground on which ZEC distributed ballot papers that they had finished printing a day before. He also reminded the public that the partition to ZEC strongly pointed out the issue of ballot paper printing. Biti added that they are now doubting the legitimacy and authenticity of the officials who voted. Biti highlights that there was no agreement and no consensus was reached between the stakeholders to map out how this special election was to take place.
The biggest outcry by the MDC Alliance is that they were not made aware of even the number of people who voted yesterday. Biti pointed out that they might be a possibility that those who have cast their vote might cast again on the election because their names were not crossed out from the voters’ roll. He added that according to Section 67 of the Electoral Act, every Zimbabwean is entitled to a free and fair election but with uninformed voting exercises going on the whole purpose of the Act is discredited.
Biti strongly believes that the process was surrounded by secrecy and that ZEC has something to hide. He added that the rights of the officers were violated because they voted under close scrutiny of their commanding officers which defies secret ballot which catered for in the Electoral Act. Biti concluded by saying they will not accept the exercise that took place at Rose Camp and that they have instructed their legal practitioners to file an urgent application so that corrective measures are taken. Biti warned those that are working towards stealing the election accusing them of creating unnecessary instability in the country. Biti highlighted that all they are asking for is a free and fair election which is a right for everyone.
Questions from the Press.
Does this give the alliance more reason to boycott the election?
Biti accused ZEC of being dishonest, incompetent and partial but he highlighted that they will not boycott instead they will fight for a free and fair election.
Do you know where the officers got the ballot paper?
Biti pointed out that they were given by ZEC purportedly in terms of Section 67 of the Electoral Act on the basis of them being postal voters.
Was there a timeline that you gave to ZEC to deliver expected reforms?
Biti explained that they have given ZEC at least 4 days 11 July so they expect a response on Monday and if they do not get it they will continue with the mass action.
What hard evidence do you have that there was a voting exercise at Rose Camp?
Biti highlighted that they have evidence from policemen who were in the room who are not in sync with the attempt of stealing the election. He also added that they received alarm calls early in the morning informing us of the incident. We also have agencies that we sent to Rose Camp who confirmed who managed to stop the exercise.
In response to Chigumba’s remarks that nothing short of an earthquake will stop the election, Biti expressed a court order can and there are a lot of factors to consider that Zec is not ready for this election.it is dishonest, it is not independent and it does not have the competence and we will fight from every front.
Did you manage to meet Justice Chigumba?
Biti accused Chigumba of running away and he stated that next time it will be ZEC looking for them. He also that ZEC also confirmed that they were shocked by the shenanigans in Bulawayo.
You highlighted on instability in the country are you not putting the nation in panic mode?
Biti pointed that ED and his people who are threatening to steal the election are the ones creating instability and that they have failed to accept the rudimental requirements of a decent election.