IN WHAT could be an indication of electoral fraud employed in yesterday’s election, the opposition MDC has exposed methods used by Zanu PF supporters to erase the indelible ink used in the
The MDC was alerted by voters that Zanu PF youths in Bulawayo’s Western areas were using a combination of brake fluid, scouring powder and lemon juice to cleanse themselves of the indelible ink before voting again.
The revelation could mean that a single person from a constituency with 30 polling centres could vote 30 times.
MDC officials in the Information department told this newspaper that they were notified of the incident by concerned voters who noticed Zanu PF supporters using the trick in the city’s high-density areas.
Several voters who had successfully cleansed themselves explained to the Independent how they managed to remove the ink from their hands.
On the strength of the demonstrations by the voters the MDC then invited international observers to the Bulawayo city hall car park to observe a voter cleansing the ink using a combination of all three scouring materials.
However, the South African observer team and the Sadc team refused to observe the process being done.
British embassy officials and opposition officials who included the MDC candidate for Bulawayo North East, Welshman Ncube, waited while a voter went to cast his vote and then proceeded to cleanse himself using brake fluid and the scouring powder.
The whole process took seven minutes to the shock of a group of observers and opposition officials and members of the media who were invited to see the act for themselves.
Ncube said the latest revelations were shocking and allayed the opposition’s claims of electoral fraud.
“From such incidents what guarantee do we have that the elections would be free and fair?” said Ncube. It is either the government is inefficient or contemptuous (in claiming) that they are using indelible ink when they are in actual fact using a liquid that can be easily removed and if anyone believes that this election can be free and fair they should have their heads examined,” Ncube said.
Turning to the refusal by the SA observer team and the Sadc observer mission to witness the incident, Ncube said South Africa was bent on turning a blind eye to the fraudulent election.
He said what was further disturbing was the refusal of the South African Broadcasting Corporation to come and cover the story.
“Why should you have a credible broadcasting station refuse to cover an incident of interest? All this goes to show that all organisations invited by Mugabe were carefully selected to turn a blind eye to the electoral fraud taking place in Zimbabwe,” Ncube said.
He said the MDC leadership will consult and see what action to take on the matter.