For the past two weeks senior police officers have been visiting police camps threatening officers and their families into voting Zanu (PF).
In Harare, the coercion resulted in a police officer being severely assaulted by top cops while three others were reportedly arrested for suggesting that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his party will win the election.
Offices were warned that their voting pattern would be traced via the serial number on the Special Voting authorisation form 2, which corresponds to that on the ballot paper.
At a ‘police-Zanu (PF) rally’ at Chikurubi Police Support Unit camp last Wednesday, senior ass com Trust Magejo told officers and their families “I hope you will vote Zanu (PF) since you have not yet forgotten what I did to you 2008 when you voted Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T.” They were warned that if Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai they would be evicted from the married living quarters.
To underscore the gravity of consequences associated with voting MDC at coming elections, some members of the Central Intelligence Organisation brandished pistols to the gathering and said if people made a ‘wrong’ choice at the ballot, it would be war.
Three junior officers who dared to suggest that Mugabe would lose the poll were reportedly arrested and detained at different police holding cells.
Zanu (PF) regalia was distributed and members of the constabulary were promised permanent regular jobs if Mugabe won.
There have been allegations that suspected MDC police officers were disenfranchised. “Thousands of suspected MDC police failed to cast their ballot, as they did not receive the SV2 forms authorising them to participate in the Special Voting,” said a police source.
The source said regardless of the threats and other forms of intimidation, most officers cast ballots in favour of candidates and parties of their choice.
“The general feeling among police and other uniformed forces is that the Zimbabwe situation has to be corrected now,” said a top cop on condition of anonymity.
Police Special Voting was extended into the early hours of Tuesday, as the majority of the force members had failed to cast the ballot within the Sunday-Monday official voting period, due to logistical problems and the late start to the process.