Vote buying rampant in the run-up to primary elections in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe

Vote buying is rampant as political parties race for primary elections in preparation for the forthcoming General elections in Zimbabwe. In Kwekwe, the campaigns have kicked off contemptuously as the electorate is flooded with free food, paid rentals, and access to gold mines (the case of Gaika Mine). One of the candidates who runs a gold mine bought motor vehicles and dished them out to local party leaders.

The rewards are given to the electorate to vote in a particular way. Vote buying is a corrupt election practice and is a threat to the conduct of free and fair elections.

  1. As intimated above, a prominent miner vying for the Kwekwe central parliamentary seat has bought several vehicles for local party chair persons
  2. Several tenants renting houses from the Globe & Phoenix Mine, were told that their rentals will be paid for by the aspiring candidate
  3. Since late last year (2017), the residents of Kwekwe have been given food and other goodies from aspiring candidates
  4. Suspiciously, the campaigning period has also coincided with the invasion of Gaika Mine in Kwekwe. This has been perceived as a vote buying gimmick
  5. Again the youth are enjoying free alcohol from aspiring candidates, which if taken to excess will result in political violence.

Mr. Obert Chinhamo, the Director of Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa condemned the practice, warned the electorate and asked relevant authorities to intervene. He also challenged the electorate to be alert and avoid being bought. “Call it aid, indigenisation, initiative or whatever. It is still vote buying when you are doing it to seek favours in an election. Vote buying has tended to be part of the culture which is being tolerated by all and sundry. Key to eliminating vote buying is to make them lose despite having pumped a lot of money. The electorate must be warned accordingly” he says.

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa is monitoring, reporting and taking action against cases of electoral corruption.

For all enquiries contact Mr. Chaumba and Mr. Chinhamo on 0773302830 and 0783011963 respectively

Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)

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