[QODLink]
Africa

Security forces vote early in Zimbabwe

Early voting starts for police and soldiers as questions linger on whether there is enough money to hold elections.

Last Modified: 14 Jul 2013 10:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Police in Zimbabwe are voting early in the country's general elections, despite an attempt by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party to prevent the decision, saying the number voting was inflated.

Hundreds of police officers lined up to vote in the capital, Harare, early on Sunday morning. Along with soldiers, who are also voting early, they will be on duty on the official July 31 polling day.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had asked the High Court on Friday to stop the special two-day vote, saying that the 69,000 police officers set to cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday far exceed the 44,133 shown on a Ministry of Finance salary schedule for the whole country.

"We are saying where is this excess number coming from because they are not on the government payroll? How does the police commissioner general account for the 69,000?" MDC lawyer Harrison Nkomo told the Reuters news agency.

Tsvangirai, making his third attempt to end Mugabe's 33-year hold on power, said nothing had been set in place to ensure a fairer vote.

Money shortage

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from Harare, said President Robert Mugabe's explanation was that the remaining 20,000 plus police officers who will cast their ballots are reserves who also have the right to vote.

The court will hear the case on Monday.

The run-up to the election has been peaceful, but the process has been criticised as poorly planned, underfunded and plagued with irregularities.

"The finance minister has told the press there is no money in the country to hold elections," said Mutasa. "Not just this special one for police and soldiers but the main one on July 31 when the rest of the country participates in polls."

But our correspondent said Mugabe had tried to assure the public that the money is there.

"There is talk of asking neighbouring countries to donate ... a lot of speculation where it will come from, but certainly officials are telling people to be patient and that the money would be available come July 31,” she said.

339

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.