It’s good to know that members of the disciplined forces now have an opportunity to cast their votes in a secret environment because this means that they can vote for any party and person they wish.
The Feya Feya campaign is founded upon 11 Principles (Feya Feya 11) which will be revealed later in the week. Among the Feya Feya 11 is a demand that:
free formation of voter preferences [be allowed to] take place without cohesion, manipulation or intimidation and [ZEC must facilitate] the insulation of this choice through effective secrecy of the ballot.
No more fear for members of the disciplined forces…cast your ballots in SECRET!
It is commendable that ZEC has announced that July 14 and 15 has been set aside as dates for casting of the special vote.
In terms of Section 81C of the Electoral Act, Special Votes are cast by members of the disciplined forces who would be deployed to cover security matters on the day of actual voting by the general public.
What is significant and which is a departure from the past is that the people casting the special vote that is mainly Police and Soldiers will cast their vote into an UNMARKED envelope and deposit it to a ZEC presiding officer in the presence of candidates or Chief Elections agents and Poling agents of all political parties and Independent candidates interested to witness this process.
Let’s protect the voter (whether he/she is uniformed or not); let’s protect their vote through a secret ballot; let’s make it feya feya!
In the past Police and Soldiers would cast their votes in the presence of their seniors and this is no longer the case.
It is the Police and the soldiers (the majority of whom intend to see a ‘feya feya’ free and fair election) that made this submission during the seventh parliament and hence Parly responded by amending the Law, now its their turn to fully express themselves in secret and have their vote remaining a secret.
ZEC has advised that:
All Political parties and Stakeholders who intend to witness the process of special voting from sorting of ballots right up to allocation and counting can contact their nearest ZEC offices, those who want to be accredited as Observers for this process can visit ZEC sub office at Harare International Conference Centre beginning 1 July 2013.
Protect the VOTE. Protect the VOTER. Respect the outcome. Let’s make it feya feya – just free and fair!