Controversy over special voting rages on

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday said they are considering allowing servicemen and women who failed to cast their ballot during the chaotic two-day special voting process to vote on July 31 along with the rest of the country.

Hebert Moyo

Reacting to reports that it was not possible for those who failed to vote on the designated days to do so with the rest of the country, Mugabe absolved the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of any wrong doing in the fiasco that engulfed the process saying the failure by most uniformed forces to vote was due to lack of sufficient voter education.

For example, Mugabe said some officers registered to vote in Beitbridge but were on duty in Harare failed to vote because they thought their ballot papers would be available in the capital.
He said this could have been avoided if there had been good voter education.

“Hameno kuti zvichaitika kuti vabvumidzwe kuvhota musi wa31 (I don’t know if they will be allowed to vote on July 31), but we will be examining this issue to see if it can be fixed,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe welcomed media reports that MDC–T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has accepted the reality of the July 31 poll but called on the MDCs and other parties not to obstruct the electoral process with all kinds of applications to the High Court and Supreme Court, saying Zec should not be treated as an enemy but an institution assisting the parties.

“Let us freely help Zec and the security forces,” he said.

“Our parties should confer on situations to assist Zec and not just do fault-finding. They are our elections as parties and Zec is helping to create an environment where our people can cast votes for us,” he said.

Mugabe also took a swipe at Zanu PF members who decided to stand as independents after losing primaries, saying they had expelled themselves from the party.

He singled out Marian Chombo and attacked her for contesting against her ex-husband, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

“There is Marian, who still calls herself a Chombo. She does not want to accept her divorce although she is divorced from her husband. She keeps pestering her ex-husband. We didn’t interfere in her domestic affairs but we will not remain silent on our Zanu PF issues. She must back off,” said Mugabe.

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