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Zanu PF coerce rural leaders to intimidate voters

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Zanu PF coerce rural leaders to intimidate voters



MASVINGO-Zanu PF candidates in Masvingo and Midlands provinces were bullying traditional leaders to collect names and national identity numbers of voters. The villagers were told that they should vote in the order given by the traditional leaders who will be able to match the ballot paper serial number to the voter.
The Mirror can authoritatively confirm that such practice was prevalent in Gutu and Shurugwi. This publication also has copies of the collected data.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum acting director, Wilbert Mandinde told The Mirror that this practice was also going on in Shurugwi.
He said this was harassment and the Zimbabwe electoral Commission (ZEC) should investigate the matter.
“This was pure harassment. This is something we heard was also happening in other rural areas. Our monitors in Shurugwi have verified that this same practice was happening. We also hope that ZEC is following up on such matters,” he said.
In Gutu Zanu PF Ward 38 candidate, Chezhira Takawira ordered all village heads to collect the names and ID numbers last Wednesday. The electorate was allegedly told that the village heads would lead them to the polling stations and they would vote according to the order provided by their the leaders.
Chezhira’s mobile phone was switched off when contacted for a comment.
Several village heads who spoke to The Mirror on condition of anonymity confirmed the matter.
‘We collected the data and gave it to Chezhira. We did not consider their political allegiance. It was mandatory for everyone to be registered as this would determine how they get food rations from the department of Social Welfare.
‘Sources are saying voters will enter the polling station in the order that we wrote their names down. This will enable tracing of ballot paper serial numbers to the voter,” said one village head.
Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and secretary for commissariat Mike Bimha were futile as their mobile phones could not be reached by the time of going to Press.
Zanu PF Masvingo spokesperson, Pepukai Chiwewe rubbished the matter and said the party instructed its cell chairpersons to verify whether their members voting details are correct.
“That is not true. There is nothing like that going on. We instructed cell chairpersons to conduct verification processes. They are collecting names and ID numbers from their cell members and ensuring that they are all in the ZEC voters roll.
ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Utloile Silaigwana did not pick up calls when The Mirror contacted him.
“Traditional leaders are not members of political parties. We respect them and they should not be involved in partisan politics,” said Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy spokesperson, Gift Ostallos Siziba.

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