THE MDC-T has expressed concern at what it termed irregularities before and during yesterday’s referendum, claiming there were cases of violence and some of its members were intimidated.
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The party’s secretary general, Tendai Biti told a press conference that there were concerned by the way some members of Zanu PF viewed the referendum, while also claiming there had been “omissions by electoral officials”.
“In Mbare, Hurungwe, Muzvezve, Chakari and Zvimba North, Zanu PF members were intimidating voters by forcing them to submit their names and addresses after the voting, so this is inconsistent with our law and absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
Biti said the party was concerned about incidences of violence in Mbare, Headlands, Kariba and Bindura.
“In Mbare our members were being turned away at one polling station notwithstanding police presence. Tactics of intimidation were being used by Zanu PF officials in Midlands Province vouching for a ‘No’ vote because of the schism or factionalism in the party,” he said.
Biti said the party was also concerned at the alleged disappearance of party secretary for Headlands, Samson Magumura, who was allegedly kidnapped yesterday.
“We find this very unacceptable but typical of the environment we are living in,” he said.
Biti said the party was also concerned about the actual presence of police officers in polling stations and expressed disappointment at the late invitation of Sadc observers.
He said an election needed to be observed four months before polling date as subjective issues such as body language needed to be looked at.
The MDC-T secretary general said the actual polling day was usually peaceful and called for early deployment of observers in future to enhance the credibility of an election.
“We are also strongly against the idea that one party can decide who will come to observe, as far as we are concerned Zimbabwe has nothing to hide, more so in a referendum,” he said.
Biti said they were disappointed that ZEC had not allowed parties to deploy election agents, instead preferring to allow observers only.