IMBISA & CCJPZ 2013 ZIMBABWE HARMONISED ELECTIONS: END OF POLL STATEMENT
by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) and Inter-Regional
Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA)
CCJPZ and IMBISA noted positive achievements in the conduct of the 2013 Harmonised
- The environment remained peaceful up to the close of the poll;
- Those who were still on the queue at the close of the polls were allowed to vote. ZEC
even extended the time for those polling stations that did not open on time, the church recognises the effort of ZEC to allow people to vote until midnight;
- Counting in most polling stations started immediately after the close of the polls soon after 7pm
- The counting process proceeded peacefully
However, there are few concerns we identified in the observation process that if taken as opportunities, will improve our future electoral processes and systems. The church is concerned about some of the incidents reported:
- A significant number of voters could not find their names in the voters’ roll despite having registered to vote. Voters who were mobile managed to check around and found their names in Wards and even in Constituencies where they had not previously registered. However, those who were lessmobile could not exercise their voting right. For example, in Mutare 433people were turned away. Similar incidences were also reported in Gokwe and Hwange.
- Disruption and stoppage of the counting largely as a result of missing or misappropriated information especially for the Special Votes Ballot Boxes.
By close of polls, CCJPZ had recorded 47 incidents asreported to the CCJPZ as follows:
- 13% representing intimidation or coercion near the Polling station – wearing political party regalia, singing political party songs, political candidates promising unspecified action for queuing voters if they lose elections mainly caused by political party supporters;
- 9% representing irregular or inconsistent vote counting processes
- 4% representing observers denied access to polling stations
- The rest of the incidents involved different situations such as:
- 2% representing Polling Stations that opened ‘Very late’ or after 10am
- Another 2% representing observers who were not permitted to write on their observation forms
- Voters being turned awayeven though they had registration certificates.
- Unexplained shifting of Ballot Boxes.
- Ballot booklets with inconsistent serial numbers and therefore invalid for the voting processes.
The church urges the people to remain patient as we await the announcement of the results, and requests ZEC to provide the results within the timeframe mandated by the electoral laws.
Thank you Zimbabwe for voting peacefully! God will continue to bless our peace loving nation.
Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa, CCJPZ Bishop Chairman