THE Registrar-General’s office has recruited graduates of the national youth training service to work as polling officers during the rural and urban council elections at the end of this month. <
The Zimbabwe Independent last week observed more than 100 members of the Zanu PF militia, contemptuously referred to as the Green Bombers, gathered at the RG’s office in Harare.
Sources in the RG’s office said the militia were being registered to run the municipal elections at the end of the month.
“They were being registered to assist in the running of the rural and urban council elections as well as the two by-elections. They will be performing various roles including those of polling officers,” said a source in the RG’s office this week.
Efforts to get comment from Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede were in vain this week as he was said to be out of office on several occasions.
Municipal elections will be held in Mutare, Rusape, Marondera, Chegutu, Kadoma, Kariba, Norton, Chitungwiza, Bindura and Ruwa on August 30 and 31. By-elections will be concurrently held in the Harare Central and Makonde constituencies.
The sources at the RG’s office added that the services of the Zanu PF militia had been enlisted in past by-elections. Previously the RG’s office enlisted the services of teachers to assist in the running of elections.
The department doesn’t have sufficient manpower to run elections
MDC director of elections Remus Makuwaza said the involvement of youth militia in the running of elections was highly irregular.
“Considering what they have come to be known for, the militia can’t be trusted with the running of elections. Their ability to help the ruling party cannot be doubted,” said Makuwaza.
Although trained under the name of national service allegedly to inculcate patriotism, the Green Bombers have proved to be nothing but a Zanu PF tool of coercion. During mass actions organised by the opposition MDC the militia was unleashed on the public to violently to thwart dissent.