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Coalition of Democrats (CODE), a grouping of opposition parties has pilled pressure on President Robert Mugabe to leave office.
CODE off today “said Mugabe has presided over and encouraged corruption which has bankrupted our country”.
Below is CODE press statement in full :
CODE joins the majority of Zimbabweans in calling for Mugabe and ZANU PF must go. They have failed to stem the continued suffering of the people. Mugabe has presided over and encouraged corruption which has bankrupted our country. This country belongs to all of us. All its resources belong to all of us. We refuse to accept being made second-class citizens. We will collectively fight for our rights.
CODE calls for a free and fair election managed by the International Community. This can be SADC, AU and/ or UN singly or together. Our ZEC is heavily partial and can not hold a credible, free and fair election.
The Old ZEC Commissioners who presided over countless disputed elections have been recycled. There is a clear indication from Mugabe that this is his rigging machine.
A proper voters roll can only be produced through an exhaustive, inclusive and accessible process and thereafter subjected to and pass an external audit. Given the above principles and the time to elections, no credible voters roll is likely to be produced.
A Biometric voting system will bring several other issues without any extra benefits. CODE therefor rejects the BIOMETRIC VOTERS ROLL and listed are some of the reasons:
BVS main advantage is to curb duplicate voting, although duplicate voting takes place, it is by far not the main methods used by ZANU PF and ZEC to rig the election. Only a very visible mark of those who have voted is the appropriate deterrant for double voting. The main methods used include FEAR, Coersion, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) itself, its staff and the electoral management system they use.
A computer system can be manipulated and very few if any of the political parties and civil society has any skill to detect such manipulation. This will be giving ZANU PF and ZEC a free hand to rig with the permission of the political parties. Colleagues, you cannot control what you do not know.ZANU PF and ZEC control the passwords and any override authority. These are the very people whom the Zimbabwean people do not trust. They can alter the data at any time. Remember whoever has the authority to add a voter`s data, can change or delete it and none of us can ever detect it.
A person’s features change with age, illness and for the fingerprints, with hard work, sweat and dirt. Hard work, sweat and dirt are a common feature with our hard-pressed and hard working people. It is standard for those employing biometric security systems to reset every so often.
A Lest we forget in Nigeria last election the system failed to recognise Goodluck Jonathan the then President, a clear indication on the system’s shortfall. History tells us that where BVS has been used in Africa, voting extended to more than one day due to technical failures.
A computer system requires electrical power, which is extremely short in Zimbabwe. Many of the rural polling stations have no electricity and are far from any facilities. A computer can fail, power can go and any backup if any, provided, can also fail. We cannot ignore the fact that the system has a lot of technicalities, which Zimbabwe is not yet well versed with as we are still lagging behind technology wise.
Internet is not available in most parts of the country. The BVS will suffer from lack of connectivity making it impossible to detect multiple voting. Even where there is internet, it is possible to have the internet interrupted as we noticed with the disruption of WhatsApp on the 6th of July 2016.
ZANU PF is a master at intimidating the voters. A BVS accompanied by computers and the whole backup equipment, will easily be a new handy and not physically violent way of intimidating voters. In the past ZANU PF would intimidate voters using cell phones, now the BVS gadgets are more sophisticated and intrusive. The intimidation will be worse.
Any voter registration by whatever means will be used as a voter exclusion system against the constitution that gives all citizens a right to vote
CODE there for advocates the use of Identity documents with all citizens as defined by the Constitution being allowed to vote.
A separate roll can be created on voting day for all those voting with Identity documents and this roll will be given to all political parties participating in those elections.
Further CODE calls for Internationally Managed elections in which ZEC plays no role.
Present was MDC National Spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi,Mvambo Kusile dawn President Dr Simba Makoni(the former Sadc Executive secretary)Mr Elton Mangoma President of Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe RDZ AND Mr Elton Dzikiti President of Dare. By Thobekile Zhou. Source-Bulawayo24