Africa 3.8.2013 06:00 am

Smuggled Zimbabwe election box found

FILE PICTURE: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai drops his ballot at Mount Pleasant High School polling station. Photo: Anne Mpalume

FILE PICTURE: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai drops his ballot at Mount Pleasant High School polling station. Photo: Anne Mpalume

Harare In what could be the tip of the iceberg that confirms Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s assertions that the July 31st polls were rigged, a smuggled ballot box from Dzivarasekwa Army barracks was found at the constituency command centre in the suburb.

On Wednesday, an official from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) confirmed that the presiding officer Rachel Machiya stumbled into Dzivarasekwa Community Hall No 2 carrying a ballot box which contained presidential ballots.

MDC polling agent Jameson Zaranyika claims he witnessed Machiya suspiciously sneaking into the centre carrying a ballot box containing the presidential votes.

“Around 3am I woke up and went inside the hall. There I saw the presiding officer Rachel Machiya with carrying a ballot box. When I asked her what she was doing she said she was trying to retrieve the V11 form and we also discovered that she had brought the ballot box from the army barracks where our polling agent had been locked outside,” said Zaranyika.

Under the country electoral laws, ballot boxes must be counted at polling stations and whenever there are transported should be accompanied by polling agents from contesting political parties.

The Zec’s Chief Elections Officer for Dzivarasekwa, officially only identified as R Tapfumaneyi, said she could not shed light on the incident which had been referred to “higher offices”.

“Yes we have heard about that but you can get that information from Remembrance,” said Tapfumaneyi.

Upon visiting Remembrance in Mbare (Zec) district command centre, the chief elections officer Taurayi Gavi said they had received reports of the smuggled ballot.

Around 5 pm Thursday, results for the Presidential elections were missing from the notice board at Dzivarasekwa Community Centre No 2, with officials from Zanu PF and the MDC camped at the site.

 

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