HUMAN rights lobby group, ZimRights yesterday claimed that thousands of potential voters could have failed to cast their vote in areas such as Epworth, Glen View and Harare West constituencies after they found their names missing on the voters’ roll.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
ZimRights in its early assessment of yesterday’s voting process said rural areas such as Murewa also recorded cases of community leaders trying to intimidate people by writing down their names.
“ZimRights notes that some polling stations had been moved from their original locations without people being aware of the changes, which have caused confusion in some areas such as polling stations in Epworth, Glen View and Harare West constituencies,” ZimRights said in a statement.
“Because of the confusion, many people have been disenfranchised by the polling stations movement, with some people still missing their names at the nearest polling stations, and there are also people who have been turned away because their names were said to be on the exclusion list.
“Cases of political party candidates and community leaders writing the names of the people who came to vote have been recorded in some areas. For instance, in Murehwa at Nyangambiri business centre and Mount Claire Mission, this was allegedly being done by the Zanu PF candidate for ward 16 near the polling stations.”
Some of the voters were said to have been threatened that they will not benefit from future programmes if they do not vote for the ruling party.
“ZimRights has received reports of ballot papers that did not have all or some of the details of the candidates for council in Norton, ward 10, Chegutu ward 6, and for the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and Zanu PF respectively.”
The human rights watchdog said veld fires near polling stations were also reported to have disrupted voting at Donnington Farm near Norton.
“ZimRights calls upon everyone to ensure that after the voting, the counting process and closing of polling stations will progress smoothly countrywide.”