Soldiers deployed as presiding officers

Several soldiers from Magunje Army Barracks were deployed as presiding officers in and around the Magunje and Hurungwe constituencies during last week’s polls.

Soldiers Kamunhenga, Guzha, Nyanhongo, Matare, Mazungu, Mbende and Mabhena were assigned to Njengenja, Mudzimu, Chitiki, Dzimaiwe, Munoembwa and Mahwada polling stations.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recruited over 96,000 polling officers for the polls, the majority of whom were said to be civil servants.

Several villagers from Jinga area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said soldiers were deployed around most polling stations, instructing them to vote for Zanu (PF).

““We were told that we are going to be tracked using the serial numbers on the ballot papers. They told us to write the ballot numbers on our hands for reference sake,” said a local woman.

Another villager said: “The presence of soldiers in our area brought back memories of the 2008 era when we were brutalised if suspected to be from the MDC. We are scared because the war veterans are indicating that they are going to cherry pick individuals from the opposition to show the others that Zimbabwe belongs to the revolutionary party”.

Another villager from Mudzimu village said the soldiers were working in cahoots with the traditional leaders.

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