A former Assistant Commissioner with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has granted an exclusive interview to Nehanda Radio exposing how President Robert Mugabe wants to rig the special voting meant for about 90,000 government workers, who will be on duty during the elections on July 31.
The special voting has already been characterised by chaos, violence and inadequate ballot papers and according to Finance Minister and MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti “figures show that 69 000 police officers applied for special voting when the country only has about 40 000 police officers.”
“As Treasury, I can tell you we are not paying 69 000 police officers, it is almost double those on the country’s payroll which is something questionable. The special voting vetting exercise is taking place at the Harare International Conference Centre and the place is heavily militarised,” Biti said.
Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba defended the numbers saying they were boosted by the inclusion of the police constabulary, a reserve force, she claims has always been in existence even before independence and that it was part of the force that would be deployed.
This is where Isaac Dziya, a former Assistant Commissioner with the Zimbabwe Republic Police comes in. He told Nehanda Radio:
“As of 1999 the whole country Police Constabulary establishment was around 1700-1900 members and this figure was inclusive of the Police air wing which was predominantly a wing comprised of white farmers.
“However, since then there has been a massive re-integration of members of the Police constabulary into the regular force in the early 2000s and following this integration exercise recruitment into the Police Constabulary was frozen.
“It is also important to note that getting the correct figures of these members could be very easy, because those who are active and perform duties get monthly allowances from the Salary Services Bureau at Mukwati building. Their allowances schedule will show active and non-active members throughout the country.
“This is in fact a nominal roll that shows all attested members of the Police constabulary. It is absurd for the National Police spokeswoman to massively overstate the membership of this unit which according to her estimates is almost 29000.
I know that some of the top guys in the banking sector as well as the majority of the ZANU PF top guys and school Headmasters are members of this unit. This is correct information that is confidential and should be treated with absolute care, because I know inside out all the activities of this unit.
“I would doubt very much if this unit can have more than 2000 members considering the re-integration process that I have mentioned above. The economic situation at the present moment cannot make it possible for the Police to utilize the services of this unit.
“Although they are a voluntary unit they get paid when they perform duties. Their allowances used to be Z$700.00, but I do not know the level of their allowances since the adoption of the multi-currencies.
“It is possible to create a force number for a non-existent member, or even non active and even give friends or relatives numbers so as to claim allowances, this has happened and there are court cases to prove this!
“It is therefore impossible for the constabulary of 29 000 and regulars of 40 000 as the government cannot afford this. The ministry of finance can prove the financial outlays. These figures are therefore meant for rigging purposes!”
Meanwhile MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said his party has evidence that Zanu-PF youths voted during the two-day special voting exercise. Tsvangirai told a rally in Nembudziya, Gokwe, that the confusion was actually planned. “They want to steal the elections through the special ballot vote,” he said.
“They had all the 80 000 ballots, but what their intelligence told them was that the police also wanted change. They then created an artificial shortage and only released 5 000 special envelopes.” Tsvangirai said Zanu-PF bussed its youths to pose as police officers so as to vote in Mt Pleasant, Harare.
On Sunday angry and impatient police officers smashed windows of the polling station in Mount Pleasant protesting the slow special voting process. Hundreds of uniformed police officers had gone to the Mt Pleasant Hall in the early hours of the day but by 4PM, less than 100 had voted.