Subject: Our True Account
of an UNFREE, UNFAIR Voting Experience
I introduce myself
to you - Mrs Simone ******* - I am married to Rory
I was born in Zimbabwe, my family are third generation
My husband was born in Malawi because his parents
were working there at the time - his parents and their
parents were born in Zimbabwe.
He returned to Zimbabwe with his parents when he was
three months old. His parents registered him as a
Zimbabwean citizen in 1975. He is in possession of
a Certificate of Registration of a Minor to prove
this. He is also in possession of a letter from the
Registrar General of Citizenship dated 28th January
1991 to further confirm his citizenship. He has a
Zimbabwean passport and ID.
We are registered to vote in Harare East Constituency,
On Saturday 9th March 2001 we joined the voting queue
at Highlands School at 8am, throughout the day I kept
on observing that there were youths distracting and
infiltrating the queue. I also noted that there was
no police presence at the gate. Around 3pm disgruntled
queuing voters finally noticed what was going on and
alerted observers. As I am sure you are all aware
- Mudede visited the polling station whilst this was
going on and tried to quell the crowd! The gate was
then closed and a couple of policeman were stationed
there. Around 6pm more police arrived. At 7pm the
people that were in the queue were let through the
gates and they were closed.
At 11pm I decided to give up - my husband decided
to stay. Eventually at 1.30am he got to the station.
However, his name appeared on a "black list"
that they had - and because his name was on that list
- he was denied the right to cast his vote. His name
appeared on the voters roll - they actually acknowledged
that fact - but he was told he was not allowed to
vote despite the fact that his name was on the roll
and despite the fact that he was in possession of
his passport, ID, and all documents to prove his citizenship.
At that time in the morning there were NO independent
observers/monitors around to assist him. The only
people around were the Government elected monitors
and agents and they refused to let him vote or to
give him a reason as to why he was not allowed to
vote! He tried to convince and plead with them - they
sent in policemen to drag him out of the station.
Our friend had stayed on with my husband - they told
him he was in the right constituency but wrong ward
- they let him vote for the President only.
On Sunday morning I woke up and went to Harare East
overlap station on Gunhill Road - when I got into
the station - they told me I was not allowed to vote
there because I was not on their roll - however -
I was in possession of my passport and ID. Again NO
independent observers/monitors around to assist me.
I then went to collect my husband from our friends
house and we went home to rest. I had given up! We
then learnt that they had extended voting to 7pm Monday
- so we went to Danhiko School (Harare East Constituency).
Again Rory was refused the right to vote because his
name appeared on the "black list". He was
told by the officer in charge to go to Oriel Boys
Computer Command Centre. I gave them my ID - I was
on the Constituency Roll but not the Ward Roll - they
told me I could not vote there because it was the
law to vote for all three and as I was not on the
Ward Roll - I was therefore not allowed to vote. Again
NO independent observers / monitors to help us.
I know that is not true - why was our friend allowed
to vote at Highlands School when that was not his
We then went to Oriel Boys - I went in and was eventually
allowed to cast all three votes - however, my husband's
name did not appear on their computer - they refused
to acknowledge the fact that he had all his docs to
prove his citizenship - again unable to exercise his
right to vote. Again NO independent observers/monitors
to help us.
Please note that I checked both the Danhiko and Oriel
Constituency Rolls and my husband's name appeared
on them!!!!! His name appeared on all three at Oriel.
Therefore - his name appeared on three Rolls at three
Tell me - in your opinion - was this free and fair??????
I write further to elaborate on discrepancies with
regard to voting:
Miss J was registered in Harare East Constituency
- she queued in Alex School Harare Central Constituency
- they let her vote for all three there!
Mr C registered to vote in Harare East Constituency
- name did not appear on Voters Roll - went to Computer
Command Centre at Oriel Boys - was in possession of
passport and ID - his name appeared on that computer
list - they refused to give him a green slip of registration
- they say he didn't register and therefore denied
the right to vote. Again NO independent observers/monitors
around to assist him.
Mrs N was on black list on Sunday in Alex School Harare
Central Constituency - Monday the list was mysteriously
removed and she was allowed to vote.
It would seem from the accounts of the above that
the Polling Agents at each Station were making the
law up as they deemed fit - in my opinion this was
a complete disregard of the law and of our rights
as citizens of Zimbabwe.
I wonder how many people in the high density suburbs
of Harare had the same treatment - oh you are in the
right CONSTITUENCY but in the wrong WARD - so therefore
not allowed to vote here - tell me - who would have
been there for to assist them?
Believe me - they as determined as they were to exercise
their democratic right to vote - would have joined
yet another long queue and let us hope and pray that
they were not denied that right yet again.
Furthermore, as a last word - I would like to say
that it is completely unfree and unfair that 800,000
or so HARARE residents had their polling stations
cut by half AND that we were subjected to voting for
President, Mayor and Councillor in just three days.
I, SIMONE *******, confirm that the above is a TRUE
account of actual facts.