"I know these people knew how to vote, many of them were old people who have been voting since 1980"
The majority of voters who came to the polling station I was observing, a primary school in Murehwa north constituency, arrived saying they didn’t know how to vote, so policemen and election officials helped them vote.They were intimidated by Zanu-PF, who told them to say they didn’t know how to vote and needed assistance. Zanu-PF wanted to make sure they knew who was voting for who. If these people had gone in and voted on their own, they would’ve suffered and been further intimidated by Zanu-PF. I know these people knew how to vote, many of them were old people who have been voting since 1980.Photo taken by CCZD Observer outside a polling station.The police aren’t even allowed in polling stations, but they were everywhere! [Editor’s note: The 2012 Electoral Act states police officers “shall have the sole functions of maintaining order” and not interfere “with the electoral process at the polling stations”. During the 2008 elections the opposition and human rights groups accused police officers at polling stations of intimidating voters].Nearby the polling stations there were Zanu-PF camps. The voters went in with their fingers dyed in indelible ink, they said they had voted for Zanu-PF, to show they’re loyal to Mugabe.
"It was impossible to check the voter list to find irregularities"
It’s so important that an updated electoral role is published for everyone to see, so we can know who is voting where. An electronic roll from 2008 is available on the Internet, but it’s completely out-of-date. There are names of dead people on it, and some people may find their names appear once, twice, even three times. The Electoral Commission only made the updated version of the electoral role available two hours before voting closed. So it was impossible to check the voter list to find irregularities.