• Saturday, Jan 23, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:54 pm

Zimbabwe police, soldiers cast early votes contested by PM

  • Published at 10:40 am July 14th, 2013
Zimbabwe police, soldiers cast early votes contested by PM

Police officers and soldiers who will be on duty during Zimbabwe’s July 31 election began voting on Sunday, the eve of a court hearing to stop the process because Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party says police numbers were inflated.

Zimbabwe will hold presidential and parliamentary elections and police chiefs have been campaigning for Tsvangvirai’s arch-rival, President Robert Mugabe, telling rank-and-file to vote for the veteran leader and his ZANU-PF party.

The MDC says junior officers were threatened by superiors to rally behind Mugabe, a charge dismissed by the police.

Mugabe, 89, has been in power for 33 years and long criticised by political rivals and the West for perceived authoritarianism.

While so far largely peaceful, the election process has been criticised as disorganised, under-funded and plagued by irregularities.

The state electoral commission says 69,000 police officers, 2,000 prison officers, 164 soldiers and thousands of election officials were taking part in a two-day special vote starting on Sunday.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has queried the police figures and the High Court will on Monday hear a request by the party to stop the voting.

The MDC says only 41,133 members of the police are eligible to vote, according to a Ministry of Finance salary schedule.

In 2008, police, soldiers and prison officials were forced to vote in front of their superiors in barracks and camps, but are now casting ballots in public polling centers monitored by all political parties and foreign observers.

Police officers could be seen at voting centers in the capital Harare queuing patiently to cast their votes.

Tsvangirai, making his third attempt to end Mugabe’s long grip on power, says nothing has been set in place to ensure a vote fairer than previous elections.

Tsvangirai, who tried in vain to have the next election delayed, said ZANU-PF was using bureaucratic obstacles and tricks such as keeping dead people on the electoral roll to try perpetuate itself in power.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail