Zuma pressed over Zim polls

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance has urged President Jacob Zuma to back the call for an independent audit of last week’s elections in Zimbabwe.

Sapa

In this regard, Zuma should ask for an urgent Sadc meeting, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said yesterday.

Zuma should “back Botswana’s proposal for an independent audit of the 2013 Zimbabwean election, to be conducted without any further delays”, she told media at Parliament in Cape Town. There was sufficient evidence from the Sadc, African Union, civil society organisations and the DA’s own observers proving the election was not free and fair.

Earlier this week, the Botswana government issued a statement in which it called for an independent audit of the election. Mazibuko said Zuma should retract his position that the elections in Zimbabwe were “successful” and “harmonised”, and indicate his government’s concern with the numerous reports of vote-rigging by the ruling Zanu PF.

Zimbabwe’s July 31 parliamentary and presidential poll saw President Robert Mugabe secure a seventh term in office since coming to power in 1980. In a statement issued at Wednesday’s media briefing, the DA said there were several factors that had contributed towards the election not being fair.

These included that a substantial number of people voted with voter registration slips, even though they did not appear on the voters’ roll.

Further, some voters were “frogmarched . . . to vote under the guard of traditional leaders”.

Asked if, given the margin of the victory by Mugabe and Zanu PF, the problems raised by the DA would have made a difference to the actual outcome of the election, party MP Ian Davidson said he could not say.
“That’s an open question,” he responded.

Mazibuko said her party’s concern was not the outcome of the election.

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