CCC condemns forced voting of security forces, calls for transparency in postal voting

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has condemned the alleged forced voting of security forces under the supervision of their superiors, and the lack of transparency in the postal voting process.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said that the party had received distress calls from members of the security forces who said they were being forced to vote for the ruling ZANU-PF party.

She said that this was a violation of the electoral law, which guarantees the secrecy of the vote.

“Our incident tracker has been awash with reports from their prison officer, police officers, and other security officers saying we are being forced to vote under the direction and supervision of our seniors, such a command vote is obviously unconstitutional everybody knows that under the electoral law your vote is your secret so you can’t have your senior standing over you to track whether or not you have voted for CCC,” she said.

“We all know Mr Mnangagwa is on record saying that the prison officers and other security forces are not voting nice, obviously we have done our bit to ensure that they mobilise for change but at the end of the day they are citizens and they are entitled to have their constitutionally enshrined right to voter per section 67 protected.”

Mahere also said that the CCC was concerned about the lack of transparency in the postal voting process.

She said that the party had only received limited information about how many people had applied for postal voting, and where they were located. This made it difficult to verify the accuracy of the process.

In addition, CCC deputy secretary for elections, Ellen Shiriyedenga said ZEC was not transparent when it came to postal voting.

“We only heard an announcement from ZEC with respect to the numbers of people that applied for postal voting and those that qualified for postal voting, the number which we got from ZEC was 17 633 , those that succeeded and those that were dully accorded the status of postal voting. Of concern with that kind of information is that it’s not specific, we do not know for example how many people applied for postal voting in Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland Central,” she said. 

Shiriyedenga said there was an element of opaqueness when it came to postal voting and it is worrisome as the key tenants of any electoral process which are verifiability and transparency were missing.

“Not Just to us as CCC or the people of Zimbabwe, but the affected persons being in this case the security detail, the diplomats that have been accorded that opportunity.”

She added, “Section 75 of our Electoral Act is very clear in terms of the voting procedure for the postal voting candidates and the aspect of secrecy of the vote which is also emphasized in section 57 of our Electoral Act but the amount of distress calls that we got as from yesterday eve up to now we are still receiving those distress calls and they are not just confined in one particular region; they are spread throughout the country.”

“Clearly, whatever is happening there is the same which is happening throughout the country, an indication that there is a command to say this is how postal voting is supposed to be conducted,” said Shiriyedenga.

She said according to the information they gathered; security details voted according to their sections.

“If you are in law and order, you go and vote there, CID in another section, they are given their ballot papers but there is senior persons being the commanders, being the superintendent, they will be seated there, once you have voted before you seal that ballot paper, you are supposed to show your superior that you have voted for ZANU-PF, clearly that was the case in Kwekwe Central police station and we have no doubt that has been happening throughout the country because the distress calls that we were getting they actually confirm what was observed by our colleagues in Kwekwe.”

Shiriyedenga added that they have written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to express their concerns.

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