PoliticsElectionsZimbabwe's 8m ballot papers raise eyebrows

Sat,21Jul2018

Posted on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 12:29

Zimbabwe's 8m ballot papers raise eyebrows

By Janet Shoko

An election official holds a ballot paper showing President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare June 27, 2008/Photo© ReutersThe Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has defended its decision to print two million more ballot papers that the country's number of registered voters saying it was meant to ensure the ballots do not run out.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the weekend accused ZEC of trying to rig the elections in favour of President Robert Mugabe by inflating the number of ballot papers.

But ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau on Tuesday said the extra ballots were meant to cater "for a 35 percent margin of error to ensure that ballots do not run short".

Tsvangirai the extra ballots put the integrity of ZEC into question.

"I am worried about information that ZEC now wants to print eight million ballot papers when there are six million registered voters," Tsvangirai told supporters at a campaign rally in Gweru.

"All such actions undermine the credibility of the vote. I want to tell them that it undermines the credibility of ZEC.

"Mugabe wants a peaceful but rigged election. This rigging can only happen if ZEC chooses to be complicit."

On Monday, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede said about 750,000 first-time voters were added to the roll in the past two months.

At the weekend, a British publication, Daily Mail on Sunday claimed that Mugabe was planning to rig elections with the assistance of an Israeli firm, Nikuv International Projects.

The paper said Nikuv International Projects "is being paid $13 million to manipulate voter registration, counter 'unfavourable' results and 'neutralise' opposition votes."



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