Biti fails to substantiate rigging claims

01 Aug, 2013 - 03:08 0 Views
Biti fails to substantiate rigging claims

The Herald


Mr Biti

Kuda Bwititi Herald Reporter
MDC-T secretary general Mr Tendai Biti yesterday failed to authenticate a plethora of allegations of electoral fraud against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as his party’s well documented bid to discredit the harmonised poll that largely went on smoothly yesterday hit a brickwall.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Mr Biti took a swipe at the electoral body saying there were gross irregularities to do with the status of the voters’ roll, intimidation and high numbers of voters being turned away at polling stations, among other alleged shenanigans.

However, Mr Biti was given the third degree by journalists and dismally failed to validate the litany of over 20 allegations that he had levelled against ZEC.

Mr Biti claimed two million people had been disenfranchised after they failed to register to vote.
He also claimed that the MDC-T was still to get access to the voters’ roll but later alleged that there were some irregularities on the electoral register.

Bemused by Mr Biti’s hypocrisy, a journalist grilled him on how the MDC-T had come up with such a figure when his party had said it had not had access to the voters’ roll.

The journalist said: “You are not answering the question, Sir. You keep saying that there is 1,9 million or 2 million people that are not on the voters’ roll and at the same time you say you have never seen the voters’ roll. How do you arrive at that figure? We have been asking that question but we have never had an answer.”

Mr Biti’s response was not convincing as he claimed that his party had last seen the voters’ roll on June 10 this year.
“On the two million people, this is straight forward because it is the number of people who have been turned away. Even ZEC itself can confirm this.

We have been saying that we had time to analyse the voters’ roll from July 10. What we are now saying is give us the list of names you added from 10 June to July 9. They are not giving us that document,” he said.

Statistics released by the ZEC and the Registrar General of Voters show that out of the 6 740 925 Zimbabweans eligible to vote, 6 400 000 registered translating to 95 percent of eligible voters. This puts Zimbabwe at number three out of the 10 countries that held elections in the Sadc region since 2009.

The MDC-T secretary general conceded that his party was working in cahoots with Western-backed NGOs to gather “evidence” of electoral fraud even though he acknowledged that the AU and Sadc did not collaborate their findings.

“We have done our own analysis and credible organisations like RAU, the Research and Advocacy Unit have done this. And it is not just about people being turned away.

“We do not wait for AU and Sadc to corroborate our findings,” he said.
Mr Biti also added another boob after he said it was illegal for Special Voters to vote yesterday.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that all Special Voters who failed to vote during the earlier process could do so with the rest of the voters after ZEC had approached the courts.

Mr Biti said the MDC-T will win the elections which he claimed were illegitimate.
“We have already made it clear that this election is illegitimate, illegal, un-free and unfair. However, despite that we are going to participate. We have absolutely no doubt that we will win this election,” Mr Biti charged.

The European Union, Britain and the US government have been heavily funding efforts to discredit the harmonised elections.

The United States Department of State has been making huge deposits into quasi-political groups masquerading as NGOs to prop up the MDC-T campaign while the department’s development aid arm, USAID has been sponsoring the Zimbabwe Election Support Network to come up with a negative report on the harmonised elections in anticipation of an MDC-T defeat.

While the Department of State is pouring money into the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to campaign for MDC-T, USAID is preparing for an MDC-T loss by availing money for drafting a damning, unempirical and biased election report aimed at discrediting the elections.

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