Zanu PF officials implicated in voter fraud allegations

Zanu PF officials infiltrated the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) posed as polling officers and assisted voters in voting for the ruling party in the Bulilima constituency during the August elections, the Bulawayo High Court has heard.

This is contained in an election petition by losing CCC Bulilima Constituency parliamentary candidate Bekezela Maplanka who successfully challenged the election outcome.

Maplanka had lost the election to Zanu PF’s Dingumuzi Phuti.

Citing numerous irregularities in the run-up to the August elections and on polling day, Maplanka approached the High Court seeking a reversal of the poll outcome.

Justice David Mangota granted Maplanka a default judgement after Phuti did not oppose the application.

Justice Mangota nullified the election outcome and ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to conduct a fresh election.  

In her affidavit, Maplanka said she was “stunned to witness Zanu PF branded tables within 300 meters of all the 76 polling stations established in Bulilima Constituency”.

The Zanu PF officials were registering voters as they entered and exited polling stations.

“These persons were informing voters that they should, vote for Zanu PF and not any other party,” she noted.

“In addition, these persons manning these Zanu PF tables were identifying old age voters and accompanying them into polling stations to assist them with voting”.

Maplanka further noted that the voters were threatened with violence if they did not vote for the ruling party.

“Voters in Bulilima constituency told me that they had been told by Zanu PF agents that if they voted for me they would not be given mealie meal and other benefits purportedly supplied by Zanu PF in the period of elections,” she said.

Maplanka also told the court that Zanu PF officials were campaigning on election day despite the Electoral Act barring campaigns on polling day.

“This campaigning was done through tokens given to voters in form of prepared meals and drinks for voters and drinks for voters coming in and out of polling stations. Voters were told that they should register their names at villages adjacent to their polling stations and it was impressed on them that they should first go and vote for Zanu PF and there were given meals for voting”.

Maplanka said she was also “alarmed” by the number of assisted voters and when she inquired with ZEC officials, she was informed that “it was normal and of no significance”.

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