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ZEC Says Political Activists Who Filmed Polling Officer 'Rigging' By-election Broke Zimbabwe Election Laws

Zimbabwe Voters Roll
Zimbabwe Voters Roll

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it has filed a complaint to the police following a showdown between some members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance and a polling officer they accused of attempting to rig an election at a school in the country’s capital, Harare, on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, ZEC said expressed its displeasure over the “harassment of its electoral officer by MDC Alliance candidate and agents at Mhizha Primary School in Highfield East Constituency yesterday 24 March 2022 while she was lawfully conducting her duties. This incident is circulating on social media misleading the electorate implying that the officer is contravening the law.

“Administratively the presiding officer was checking received election materials to ascertain that all was in order before the conduct of the election. The actions of the MDC Alliance candidate and agents constitute an electoral offence as outlined in Section 88 of the Electoral Act as read with paragraph 7(i)(c) of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates. The Commission has reported the matter to the police for investigation.”

ZEC noted that there are polling station procedures which are done before the opening of poling stations “where all election material is checked and verified by the polling officers.”

ZEC urged all election candidates, agents and observers to adhere to the code of conduct for observers and election agents, adding that only accredited people are allowed to enter polling stations outside polling period.”

A video of a polling officer counting ballot papers at the school has gone viral with some Zimbabweans claiming ZEC was rigging elections in favor of the ruling party.