For immediate release
The United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) is disappointed with the manner in which the ongoing harmonized elections were conducted. We are highly concerned by several issues regarding the elections administration and the conduct of some of the political parties. These factors have affected the credibility of the polls.
On the Presidential ballot, our Presidential candidate Elisabeth Valerio’s picture and our party logo were hardly recognizable. We also noted that while our presidential candidate’s photo and the UZA party logo were smudged, the picture of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ZANU PF party logo were printed clearly. We also found it to be highly unconventional that the first column on the presidential ballot had less candidates listed than the right column.
Voting especially in several urban constituencies was delayed and voters reported to us that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission failed to avail local authority ballots timeously. This is despite the elections body’s claim that it was ready for elections. The development potentially caused voter apathy. Many of the citizens that remained at the affected polling stations were forced to vote at night causing safety concerns. Many of these polling stations also did not have adequate lighting. This created unnecessary challenges for the electorate in the affected polling stations and caused us great concern as a political party. We now question the credibility and accuracy of the votes counted under such circumstances.
Our party is also outraged by the disenfranchisement of registered voters who, despite having checked their voter registration prior to election day, found their names were missing from the voters roll. This leaves us with questions about the credibility of the voters roll and the system the electoral commission is using to track voter registrations. At some polling stations, citizens complained that they were being served by unskilled officials who were very slow, hence delaying the voting process.
There have also been numerous cases of politically motivated violence and widespread reports from the electorate about exit interview desks which were set up a few meters from polling stations. Most felt intimidating by the presence of these desks as they had ZANU PF table cloths. Voters felt they were being watched. This all renders the election unfair.
We believe that a free and fair election entails ensuring a level environment for all parties.
The elections body should ensure that the election results are not disputed and are accepted by all.