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One-voter one-polling station seriously undermine 'Your vote is your secret!'

11 Jul 2018 at 18:49hrs | Views
Zanu PF increased the number of polling stations in 2013 from 2 000 to 9 000 just a few days before voting day. The only logical explanation was the regime was using the additional polling station to facilitate its vote rigging – events proved that was indeed the sinister reason.

The regime has come up with a new addition to the voting this year; each polling station will only have the names of the voters allowed to vote at that station in the new one-voter one-polling station system. This presents the serious problem of how secret is one's vote.

In the past there was a common constituency voters' roll and the individual could cast their vote in any one of the ten or so polling stations dotted around in the constituency. When voting is done, all the ballot boxes were brought to one or two centres. Each box was then opened to confirm the ballots in the box agree with the ballot issued. If this was agreed the ballots were then added to a common box.

The ballots were only counted after all the polling station boxes had been emptied into common box. At this stage it was impossible to know with any certainty who voted and much less how an individual had voted.

With this new voter-station specific system the voter has no choice of which polling station to use. Worse still, because each polling station conducts its own vote count; one can easily figure out who voted and whom they for, particularly is the number of cast ballots is low.

According to a NewsDay report the average number of voters per polling station is slightly over 500 and 241 stations have 100 or less registered voters with station with less than 10. The concept of "your vote is your secret" is now farcical.

In the rural areas where fear of political reprisals for all those suspecting of supporting the opposition is rife the one-vote one-polling station will only reaffirm the notion the authorities will know who one voted for.

ZEC has increased the number of polling station this year to over 11 000 with an addition 1 000 more still to be announced!

There is no doubt hundreds of thousands of people will be denied the vote this year because they will have turned up at polling station only to be told they are not registered there.

The voters did not ask for more polling station. Zanu PF wanted them for its own sinister purposes and so imposed them. Caesar's will!

The people did not want this one-voter one-polling station which has eroded the secrecy of the ballot. Zanu PF wanted them, once again for the regime's selfish and sinister purposes and so it imposed them. Another one of Caesar's decree!

My fellow Zimbabweans, it is as plain as day light that Zanu PF is rigging this year's elections just as the party has done countless times in the past. We can continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend this is not happening and pay dearly for it.

Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because for the last 38 years we have been stuck with an incompetent, corrupt and murderous regime that rigged elections to stay in power against our collective democratic will. Unless we do something to end this scourge of unelected and unaccountable rulers this nation will only sink even deeper into this hell-on-earth Zanu PF has landed us in.

Are we to be ruled by rule of law or the capricious whims of a dictator? This is the question this nation must deal with urgently and decisively.

Zimbabwe is not the first nation to have to grapple with such vexing governance issues; other nations have done the same and we must learn from their experience. We do not need to reinvent the wheel.

The preamble of the first constitution of Denmark (Jyske lov), written in 1241, states: "The law must be honest, just, reasonable, and according to the ways of the people. It must meet their needs, and speak plainly so that all men may know and understand what the law is. It is not to be made in any man's favor, but for the needs of all them who live in the land.

"If there was no law in the land, then he had most who could get the most. Therefore, the law is made for everyone's benefit, so that the just and peaceful and innocent can enjoy their peace, and the unjust and evil can live in fear of that which is written in the law, and therefore will not dare to act out the evil deeds they have in mind."

There is nothing honest or just such vote rigging shenanigans as increasing the number of polling station 350% or this one-voter one-polling station system. Instead of Zanu PF coming up with changes to facilitate the people's exercise of the freedoms and basic rights these changes are undermining or denying us our rights.

After 38 years of rigged elections we, the people, should have the courage and resolve to say enough is enough of all laws and practices designed to benefit the wicked at the expense of the just and are promoting anarchy, death and destruction!

These elections are a mockery of what free, fair and credible elections should be and they must be declared null and void.

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