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51% voters willing to be bribed in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
14 Aug 2023 at 06:29hrs | Views
A RECENT study by a local think-tank, Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) shows that 51% of citizens are willing to be bribed to influence who they vote for.

As the country heads for the August 23 elections, there have been reports of vote buying particularly by the ruling Zanu-PF party.

In some cases, voters have been offered money, food or other gifts in exchange for their vote.

Presenting a paper at the Pre-Election Conference hosted by Election Resource Centre (ERC) in Harare last week, PPRIZ director Gorden Moyo noted that citizens have been reduced to penury resulting in vote buying in urban and peri-urban areas contrary to the previous elections where vote buying was more prevalent in the rural areas.

The study was conducted from June 27 to July 13 this year.

"Eleven percent of the respondents were willing to take monetary or material gifts and vote for the vote buyer, while 40% would take the money and vote with their conscience and 44% would refuse the bribe and vote for their choices. Five percent did not know what they would do if they were to be offered a bribe," Moyo said.

He added that 11% of citizens who took bribes and vote for the sponsor may decide the outcome of the results of the election.

"In a tightly contested election, the 11% that are willing to take the bribe and vote for the briber may decide the election outcome in the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe," Moyo said.

The study also showed that despite clear provisions of the law which criminalise vote-buying, there have not been any prosecution of offenders in the courts of law.

"To be clear, vote-buying is an illegal practice in Zimbabwe under section 136(1)(a) to (h) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13]. Similarly, section 6(f) and (g) of the Political Parties Code of Conduct prohibits electoral bribery. However, the practice has often taken place in the presence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, police and Judiciary which are either unable or unwilling to use the law to curb this poison in the electoral circle in Zimbabwe," the report read.

Source - newsday
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