MDC-T concerned ZEC and Mudede manipulating evidence

The MDC-T is concerned that the delay by ZEC and the Registrar-General, in providing voting materials the party has requested, is a delaying tactic giving them time to tamper with the evidence.

Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s electoral petition, challenging the July 31st Presidential poll result, is banking on evidence he hoped would be supplied by ZEC and Tobaiwa Mudede, the RG.

Tsvangirai is seeking the nullification of the presidential poll and a re-run within 60 days from the date of judgment. He has since labelled the poll a ‘farce.’ The petition will be heard on Saturday.

Lawyers representing the Premier filed a court application last week compelling ZEC to release full details of the disputed poll. In his affidavit Tsvangirai has requested the electoral body to provide verified votes in each district and copies of voters’ lists used at all 9,000 polling stations.

The MDC-T wants the details to support its claims that up to one million eligible voters were prevented from voting and ballots were cast in the names of dead people and voters out of the country.

Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesman, told journalists in Harare on Friday that they are seriously handicapped by their inability to access the materials and information, some of which by law should have been given to all contesting parties by now by ZEC.

For instance SADC guidelines on elections in the region stipulate that all parties contesting an election should have an electronic copy of the voters roll a couple of weeks before an election.

This is aimed at helping political parties to study and audit the roll, which is easy to do so using an electronic version. But in the case of elections in Zimbabwe, ZEC only provided hard copies of the roll, which are extremely difficult to analyse. They only provided this hard copy on the actual day of the election and only after the MDC-T had gone to court demanding the election roll.

Mwonzora went on to express concern about their inability to access election information: ‘These delays may be contrived to enable the surreptious manipulation of the voting materials and information. We do not have access to these materials and information and we do not know where they are.

We might well be given access eventually but to materials and information that would have already been fixed. In the process we would have legitimized the illegitimate.’

Two weeks ago ZEC announced that President Robert Mugabe had won the poll with 61 percent of the vote, way ahead of Tsvangirai who had just under 34 percent. However claims of rigging have marred Mugabe’s victory amid overwhelming evidence of electoral irregularities.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Nikuv corporation, which reportedly manipulated the voters roll in favour of Mugabe, took away the software which they used to move potential MDC-T voters to other wards or constituencies.

A source told us that moving back voters back to their original constituencies is proving to be a nightmare for Mudede, adding that this is why it’s taking long to provide an electronic voters roll.

Obert Gutu, the outgoing deputy Justice Minister and spokesman for the Harare province told SW Radio Africa that rigging of the poll took place at ZEC and at Mudede’s offices.

Asked why both offices were failing to release the information requested by his party, Gutu retorted: ‘They are scared of letting the cat out of the bag.’

Journalist and political commentator Itai Dzamara said if Mugabe had won fairly, why is the party not comfortable releasing the voting material.

‘They won by an overwhelming majority, so why are they concealing the evidence. If the people voted for them fairly, it’s only fair then for other contesting parties to inspect material on request. By law ZEC should have provided all this a month before the poll,’ Dzamara said. – SW Radio Africa

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