The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa has noted with grave concern that some Zimbabwean politicians are buying votes ahead of the 30 July 2018 General Election.
Equally shocking were remarks by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa who on the 9th of June 2018, whilst in Mutoko in Mashonaland East Province, urged his party’s candidates, to offer gifts to chiefs and traditional leaders to procure their support in the elections. His remarks illuminate how deep rooted electoral corruption is and how traditional leaders are politicised.
The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa demanded that President Mnangagwa retracts his statement and apologises to the people.
On the cancer of vote buying, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa warns that the corruptly elected leaders will tend to be corrupt including for instance engaging in embezzlement of public finances, demanding bribes from foreign investors, and engage in nepotism thus making corruption a vicious circle with no end in sight.
On the 5th of July 2018, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa published a report on electoral corruption and fraud. A report by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa says that there are several incidents of electoral corruption reported in the run-up to the 30 July 2018 elections such as:
- Widespread cases of manipulation of voters in the form of media bias, and deceptive political communication as well as the provision of particularistic incentives or sanctions, such as vote-buying, intimidation, and other forms of undue influence;
- Suspicious behavior of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which despite demand, is stubbornly refusing to comply with the law and demands from the opposition;
- Widespread cases of vote buying throughout the country and the impunity thereof; and
- Abuse of state resources, traditional leaders and state capture.
Furthermore, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa warned ZANU PF to desist from abusing government ministries, departments, staff and resources for party business ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, a shining example being the case of R. Shangwa, the District Administrator for Guruve in Mashonaland Central Province, who used government resources to campaign for ZANU PF. A letter that he authored and signed dated 4 September 2017, was given as an iexample.
The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa also reported that ZANU PF unleashed the youth on Gaika Mine as a vote buying gimmick. Again, the organisation said that ZANU PF and one Vongai Mupereri should be held accountable for grave violations of human rights, including death of many miners who were killed using machetes at the mine. The mine owned by Duration Gold Limited. In addition, the organization decried the abuse of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as cash cows.
Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa