Dip tank attendants appointed as election officers


In what seems like another desperate bid to cling onto power, Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have appointed general hands from various government departments and dip tank attendants (vadhibhisi) as presiding officers for an election run-off.

According to authoritative police sources based at the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ), the ZEC sent out a new national list of polling officers to preside over the expected presidential run-off.

The Zimbabwean established that three-quarters of polling officers who had presided during the March 29 joint elections – many of them teachers – had been scrapped. Their replacements were to come from ministries, hospitals and parastatals like the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Cold Storage Company (CSC). Dip tank attendants were to preside in most rural areas.

Utoile Silaigwana, ZEC spokesperson, confirmed the appointments and said teachers had been released from the duty, as they were needed for their usual work in schools.

Political analysts have said it is as another ploy by the desperate Mugabe regime to remain in State House at all costs.

Police have been targeting polling officials over the last four weeks, arresting scores of ZEC officials, especially teachers, whom they accuse of conniving with the Movement for Democratic Change to deny Mugabe and his party victory in last months’ elections.   

This follows Tuesday’s reports from the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), which said teachers who were presiding officers were being abducted in the middle of the night and forced to write sworn statements declaring they had rigged the elections.

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