Home » Judicial » Polls – Five Zanu-PF Members Arrested

POLICE in Manicaland last week arrested five people believed to be Zanu PF members over a litany of election related offences.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) provincial elections officer, Joel Mutambiranwa, said the five were seen “taking down the names of people prior to voting” in the Headlands constituency.

“Everybody cooperated and there were a few complaints from the NCA and independent candidates,” Mutambiranwa told NewZimbabwe.com.

“They were complaining about people writing down names of people who had voted or were about to vote.

“We are worried about things that happen within the confines of 300 meters of the polling station.

“So far, five people have been arrested for various offences including allegedly taking down names of people who were about to vote supposedly with a view of inducing them to vote for a particular party.”

A local poll monitoring group, the Election Resource Center (ERC), said its monitors in Headlands had witnessed hordes of ruling party activists taking down the names of voters before they got into the polling stations.

ERC director Tawanda Chimhini confirmed that their monitors had witnessed the illegal action in the constituency which was eventually won by Zanu PF’s Christopher Chingosho

“It is true that ERC observers did witness individuals jotting down names of people as voting proceeded.

Any action likely to intimidate voters or influence one’s choice on polling day violates the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct,” Chimhini said.

Manicaland police spokesperson Enoch Chishiri could not be reached for comment on the reported arrests.

Opposition parties that participated in the polls held in 16 constituencies last week complained of intimidation and fraud by the ruling party.

Zanu PF swept all the seats to increase its majority in the legislature.

Fourteen of the by-elections were a result of the MDC-T’s decision to recall MPs who left the Morgan Tsvangirai led party to form the Renewal Team.

Tsvangirai however then went on to boycott the snap poll demanding electoral reforms first, a decision that was roundly condemned by his critics and characterised as a “donation of legislative seats” to the ruling party.

Source : New Zimbabwe