The DA has learnt that there have been serious irregularities in the lead up to the Zimbabwean election.
This also comes after comments by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe attacking President Jacob Zuma and his international relations advisor Lindwe Zulu for commenting on problems surrounding the election process. This is indicative of the South African government’s failure to ensure peaceful democratic elections by the exercising of soft diplomacy in their approach towards Zimbabwe. This has since led to panic in the South African government ranks as there is no clear strategy to maintain free, fair and peaceful elections on July 31.
It is clear that the South African government’s quiet diplomacy has done nothing to curtail poor pre-election preparations and continued aggression towards voters, especially in rural constituencies. It is now time for President Zuma to consider a hard line approach.
According to DA election observers in Zimbabwe:
- The special vote has been poorly managed as voting began late on both days – the 14th and 15th July. It is also understood that the number of those who cast their votes has been inflated from 44 113 to 69 000. The exact figure cannot be verified;
- Village constituencies are being coerced to vote for the Zanu PF and threatened with a repeat of the pre-and-post 2008 election violence. A random register has been conducted by Zanu PF agents to monitor voter trends in villages;
- In suburbs, townships, towns and cities, where people are more likely to support MDC-T, registration centres were very few and marked by long queues ,resulting in fewer people registering; and
- Security personnel including the police and the army are openly canvassing for Zanu PF.
It is in the interest of the Zimbabwean people, the interest of South Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Africa for the election to be free, fair and peaceful.