HARARE – Commonplace chaos that characterised the special voting process on Sunday and yesterday has unnerved an expectant electorate wishing to cast its ballots in the synchronised elections at the end of this month.
Many are alarmed at the prospect of the bedlam rolling over into the mainstream and their anxiety has some justification.
The special vote exercise proved an extraordinary indictment for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the Herculean task thrust upon it by champions of an early election.
Notably so, the chaotic scenes project a blustering state of unpreparedness to hold such a crucially important exercise despite all arguments to blandish the near-fiasco.
What ensued at the polling stations is an irreversible lesson to those that were baying for an early election how impetuous decisions can ruin a noble cause.
Just how assistant police commissioner, Charity Charamba, scrounged for plausible reasons to blame the MDC for the disorderliness reflects.
For a nation that prides itself in upholding the rule of law, Charamba’s irrational reason for the chaos that menaced the special vote exercise flies off tangent with this tenet.
Political parties have a right to take legal steps to contest what they deem an infringement of the law and there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking legal intervention to correct an anomaly.
Neither is this a logical nor relevant explanation to inspire confidence amongst the electorate who expect better logistical organisation from authorities to ensure a seamless voting process that enhances its credibility.
The law courts are final arbitrators in any dispute of whatever hue as exemplified by their astute attention to demand by Jealousy Mawarire and his CEDSA for elections to be held on July 31.
It is therefore out of step for Charamba to ascribe reasons for the special vote bedlam to the MDC’s pending constitutional court outcomes.
The inevitable chaos witnessed stems from an obvious blunder in knee-jerk proclamation of elections date without due attention to the requirements of a flawless plebiscite.
Charamba’s harry and attempt to divert public attention by skirting round the consequences of rash decision only serves to warn the electorate to gird their loins for an impending election disaster of catastrophic proportions.
The question on every eligible voter’s mind now is whether Zec will step up to the place and vindicate itself of the unenviable task on hand when it deals with an estimated 6,2 million voters.
Voters will be less than charitable in their condemnation of the process and its outcome if Zec fails them by denying them their inviolable right to vote, regardless of the enormous task brought to bear on it.
They are bound not to countenance a repeat of 2008 when it took a rather inordinate time to announce the poll outcome for whatever reason. A fortnight is not a very long time to pass the verdict.