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Let the army manage 2018 polls, Marondera residents demand

03/12/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
 
 
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MARONDERA: Residents here have called upon the government to remove senior Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials and replace them with members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

Making contributions Saturday on the Electoral Amendment Bill public hearing at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in Marondera before the justice, legal and parliamentary affairs portfolio committee, the residents claimed that the current ZEC secretariat was full of shady characters from the President's Office who were rigging elections on behalf of Zanu PF.

“ZEC should be manned by soldiers. As we have witnessed from recent events, the people view the military as more friendly to the public than most civil servants including the police and they will do a better job at ZEC than state security agents from the President's Office," one resident who identified himself as Makoni said in reference to the military's Operation Restore Legacy that took place last month.

The parliamentary public hearings are being held across the country and are meant to seek the people's views regarding certain sections of the Electoral Act before its alignment with the new Constitution.

Another resident, Shadreck Mubaiwa said military personnel like every other citizen had a right to be employed by ZEC or as Cabinet ministers.

"We recently observed that soldiers are more efficient than the police and we should give them a chance to run ZEC and be appointed as Cabinet ministers as they are also citizens of this country.

However, ZEC is not independent and it should not operate under unclear circumstances. It should be clear who the presiding officers are and how they were recruited," Mubaiwa said.

Vincent Mhondiwa said the environment ZEC was operating in, was not conducive as a political party he did not name was disrupting the on-going biometric voter registration exercise by distributing agriculture inputs at voter registration centres.

“The same political party is also forcing and intimidating people to produce voter registration slips and they take down their details," said Mhondiwa.

“ZEC should also be fully independent and be allowed to invite whoever it wants to monitor and observe the country’s elections,” he added.

However, Rodrick Mugadza said no foreign observers should be allowed to observe elections in Zimbabwe because no country had ever invited Zimbabwe to observe its elections in their countries.



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"We do not want international observers because Zimbabwe is never called to any country to observe elections," he said.


 
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