ELECTION watchdog – Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) – has raised alarm over the timing of the drilling of 15 boreholes by the District Development Fund (DDF) in Glen View South which ZANU-PF appears to have advantage of in its campaigns ahead of a by-election scheduled for September 7.
ZESN observers reported some of the boreholes were officially opened by ZANU-PF during its ongoing campaigns in the Constituency.
They also observed DDF trucks carrying borehole rigs moving in convoys with vehicles carrying ZANU-PF supporters in their full party regalia heading for the borehole drilling sites.
“This can be viewed as a form of vote buying or attempts to influence voting preferences,” ZESN said.
The election observer group said it notes with concern that “it appears the prioritisation of the service delivery has been influenced by political considerations.”
Vote buying, according to, The Electoral Knowledge Network includes promising, offering or giving money; goods; services and/or other inducements to voters after an election has been announced, or during the campaign, by a political party candidate.
Whenever it happens, vote buying has the effect of making the playing field uneven.
“The Network is concerned with the timing of the drilling of the 15 boreholes in an area that is scheduled to have a by-election soon when there are so many other areas in Harare and other cities and towns that are facing rampant water shortages and erratic water supplies,” ZESN said.
“It is also disturbing that essential service delivery now seems to be tied to electoral campaigns. This perception is reinforced by another incident that was observed by ZESN on 11 May 2019 in Ward 10 of Mutasa Rural District Council by-election where a borehole was drilled on the actual polling day,” ZESN said.
“Further, concerns about vote buying were also raised in the Lupane East National Assembly by-election when a letter replying favourably to a request, by the ruling party, for medicines to be supplied to Lupane in support of the party’s campaign was leaked. This letter widely circulated on social media during the run up to the by-election and its contents were not refuted.”
The Network reiterated the need for clear legislative measures prohibiting vote buying as well as the enforcement of Section 156 (c) (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that requires ZEC to ensure the establishment of appropriate systems and mechanisms to eliminate vote buying muds the pre-election environment.