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    Friday, 27 July 2018

    35 000 cops not voting

    Only 4 600 voted through postals


    MASVINGO – Thousands of Police officers numbering up to 35 000 and deployed for election duties in the Monday July 30, 2018 plebiscite are unlikely to vote because they were not registered for postal voting.
    Police officers, members of the Zimbabwe National Army, other security agents, civil servants and staff at foreign embassies deployed on national duty during elections are allowed to exercise their right through postal votes.
    Police spokesperson Senior Asscom Charity Charamba however, confirmed that there are only 4 606 out of about 40 000 who have voted through the post.
    The rest needed to vote on Monday but to their shock they found themselves deployed far away from their polling stations which means they can no longer vote.
    Scores of angry officers who called The Mirror accused Government of denying them their right to vote because there is a sentiment that the Police force is not amenable to the Government of President Mnangagwa. The Mirror managed to get a list of hundreds of Police officers who have been deployed in places far away from the polling stations where they are registered to vote.
    When contacted for a comment Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Mukodza who is the head of the Elections Command Centre said Police officers were required to apply for postal voting and those who did have already voted.
    Affected officers however, told The Mirror that they never got such an instruction from their bosses. Instead the juniors officers said the bosses chose those who were going to vote by post and assured the rest that they will be deployed at the polling stations where they are registered so that they can vote.
    They said they were shocked when the deployment list came and realised that most of them would not vote because they will spend the whole day on duty elsewhere until polling stations are closed on Monday.
    "We never received communication advising us to register for postal voting because we were not aware that we would be deployed outside our polling stations. It came as a surprise to me because I registered to vote at a Primary School (name supplied) only to be deployed in the rural areas (name supplied)," said an irate cop who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.
    Mukodza however, said that he was able to assist officers who have been affected by the deployments.
    "If ever there are any officers affected please let me have their names and I will ensure that they will vote," said Mukodza.
    He however, said ZRP did not want every officer to vote through postal because the large numbers would have caused an outcry from the opposition parties.
    "The communication on postal votes was only done to the provincial commanders who identified those who were eligible for postal voting. We did not want everyone to participate because of the outcry from the opposition parties over postal voting," said Mukodza.
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