The practice occurred at Mutota Primary School, WardÃ¢â‚¬Â¨19, in Guruve North constituency where several youths could be seen inÃ¢â‚¬Â¨the company of individuals reportedly coming from Zanu (PF).Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨MDC-T aspiring candidate for the constituency, Andrew Mupunga, reported the matter to election officials but was Ã¢â‚¬Â¨told that it was hard to prove whether one was actually illiterate orÃ¢â‚¬Â¨not.
“It is surprising that a lot of school leavers in the area are not able to write. My suspicion is that they have beenÃ¢â‚¬Â¨told to do so by the Zanu (PF) officials in their area. We heard aboutÃ¢â‚¬Â¨this plan long ago,” said Mupunga.
By 6 o-clock in the evening, the number of assisted voters at Mutota Primary School had risen to 103.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨The area is composed of people living on resettled farms and isÃ¢â‚¬Â¨considered a Zanu (PF) strongholdÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨On the date of the election, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission DeputyÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, expressed concern over the number ofÃ¢â‚¬Â¨assisted voters countrywide. “We have noted that in some areas there is quite a high number ofÃ¢â‚¬Â¨assisted voters,” she said.
In Guruve North, MDC-N aspiring Member of Parliament, KudakwasheÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Chimanikire, told The Zimbabwean that presiding officers hadÃ¢â‚¬Â¨connived with Zanu (PF) to rig the elections.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨He alleged that at Chipangura Primary School an officer identified as Nyepudzayi Mapurisa was working in cahootsÃ¢â‚¬Â¨with Zanu (PF) to bar those wishing to assist illiterate voters.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨When The Zimbabwean visited at around 5pm, 61Ã¢â‚¬Â¨people had been assisted to cast their vote.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Mapurisa, however, denied the allegations but admitted she had helpedÃ¢â‚¬Â¨some illiterate voters.
“The people I assisted here were illiterate but came here with noÃ¢â‚¬Â¨one to assist them and they actually approached me for help so whatÃ¢â‚¬Â¨you are saying is not the correct position. I actually assisted thoseÃ¢â‚¬Â¨people in the presence of two polling officers and one policeÃ¢â‚¬Â¨officer,” said Mapurisa.
Allegations were raised that a ZEC official, Constance Musa, had been assisted to cast herÃ¢â‚¬Â¨vote by Never Chinhoyi. Aspiring candidates from the two MDCÃ¢â‚¬Â¨formations asked how the electoral body could have employed anÃ¢â‚¬Â¨illiterate person.
When contacted for comment, Musa said: “I am not in a position to tellÃ¢â‚¬Â¨you anything relating to that incident. Officials at Guruve PublicÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Service Association can give you the best comment on that”.
Efforts to get the comment from the PSA officials were, however, fruitless.Post published in: News