Zimbabwe Charges Election Monitors for Tabulating Results


In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s recent presidential election, the country finds itself embroiled in controversy as thirty-nine members of poll monitoring groups face charges for contravening Section 66 of the electoral act.

These individuals were arrested while carrying out their duties, specifically tabulating the results of vote counting.

The arrests have further marred an already volatile election, tainted by violence, arrests, and intimidation across the nation. Jointly deployed by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network and the Election Resource Center, these accredited monitoring organizations had stationed 7,500 observers nationwide.

Zimbabwe Charges Election Monitors for Tabulating Results
Zimbabwe Charges Election Monitors for Tabulating Results.

According to their lawyer, the poll monitors have been formally charged under Section 66 of the electoral act. This legal action raises questions about the extent to which the election process is governed by fair and transparent practices.

National police spokesperson, Paul Nyathi, defended the charges, asserting that the monitors had contravened the country’s laws and must now face the consequences. This stance emphasizes that the due process of law will be followed, highlighting the importance of adhering to legal frameworks in such instances.

The aftermath of Zimbabwe’s presidential election witnessed widespread chaos and disruptions at various polling stations, particularly in the capital city of Harare. Delays in the delivery of voting materials by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission led to some individuals being unable to vote when polls initially opened.

This unfortunate situation stemmed from electoral court challenges, which affected the printing of local authority ballot papers. The commission’s handling of these challenges has since come under scrutiny, leading to questions about their efficiency and ability to ensure a smooth electoral process.

Moreover, concerns have been raised about voter intimidation by members of Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), an organization affiliated with the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Reports emerged of these individuals intimidating voters at various polling stations, recording voters’ details, and potentially influencing the overall electoral outcome. Such actions not only undermine the integrity of the election but also raise doubts about the impartiality of the ruling party.

The Role of Election Monitors

Election monitoring groups play a vital role in ensuring free and fair elections, promoting transparency, and holding governments accountable. By deploying observers across the nation, these organizations aim to identify any irregularities, intimidation tactics, or potential fraud.

The arrests of the poll monitors demonstrate the continuing challenges faced by those striving to protect the integrity of the election process.

The upcoming legal proceedings will be closely watched by both domestic and international observers, as they will shed light on the government’s approach to safeguarding the transparency and fairness of future elections.

The official results of the presidential election are anticipated to be released within a five-day timeframe following the day of voting.

Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, aged 80, is vying for a second term in office. His primary opponent is Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer and pastor representing the opposition.

Previously, in 2018, an extended delay in announcing the presidential election results sparked widespread public demonstrations calling for the prompt release of the outcome. In response to the escalating tension, the military intervened and unfortunately resulted in the tragic loss of six civilian lives.

Kosi Ezeonyeka
Keith Kosi is a South African correspondent who holds the esteemed position of reporting for Who Owns Africa. With a laser-focused approach on current affairs, Kosi's expertise extends to the realms of politics, business, and culture. Her incisive analysis and in-depth coverage have earned her a reputation as a credible and trustworthy source of information. As the South African correspondent for Who Owns Africa, Kosi occupies a pivotal role in delivering news and updates to a global audience. With a deep understanding of the region's political landscape, She keenly observes and reports on the activities and developments within the South African government and its impact on the continent. Kosi's reports are characterized by meticulous research, unbiased analysis, and a keen eye for detail, ensuring that her readers are well-informed about the complex dynamics at play.


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