Some villagers in Zimbabwe’s Buhera communal land in Manicaland province say suspected members of the ruling Zanu PF party continue demanding Biometric Voter Registration slips ahead of the country’s crucial general elections.
According to Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a non-governmental organization currently monitoring electoral and political processes in Zimbabwe, the Zanu PF members are being assisted by traditional leaders.
Heal Zimbabwe’s latest report reads in part, “This was revealed by community members from Buhera who attended a series of collaborative neutral platforms (nhimbes) conducted by Heal Zimbabwe in partnership with 6 Community Peace Clubs in Buhera from the 24th to the 27th of April 2018. Community members noted that the collection of serial numbers was a form of intimidation, hence it poses a serious threat to peace and coexistence in local communities.
“The collection of serial numbers also poses a threat to the secrecy of the ballot and compromises the freeness and integrity of elections.”
Heal Zimbabwe noted that one village head indicated that villagers were being intimidated by people who were collecting the serial numbers.
“I have received numerous reports by community members who have been intimidated by unscrupulous traditional leaders and ZANU PF members … With the 2018 elections approaching, this is very worrying”, he said.
Some traditional leaders who attended the meetings urged community members to report cases of intimidation to the police and continue initiating activities that help build peace, tolerance and social cohesion.
ZANU PF has already denied that they are collecting serial numbers of people who registered to vote in the forthcoming general elections.