ZEC Break in Baffling
5 August 2023
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Incredible revelations that thieves broke into the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) headquarters in Harare on Sunday night cannot fleet by without us casting our curious gaze at this mouth-gaping incident.

We hear that three laptops belonging to chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana and his secretary went missing after suspected robbers broke into what we all believe is a heavily-guarded premise located in the capital’s central business district.

Zec and the police have since confirmed this more-than-shocking occurrence, which has come a few days before the country’s crucial general elections pencilled for August 23.

This incident does not augur well for Zec which, we are afraid to say, has so far proved to be struggling to convince all and sundry that it is capable of credibly conducting this year’s polls.

Whatever the ongoing investigations into the break-in at Zec will unravel, it will not erase the fact that the institution’s reputation and capability to prepare and conduct an election have been gravely compromised.

Anyone can lose property to thieves, but losing critical property to burglars at a crucial time for the entire nation is something else.

If some people do not resign under such circumstances, then heads must roll to drive home the point that people need to be serious when it comes to matters of national interest.

Honestly speaking, as it stands, the entire electoral process has been seriously compromised and it cannot be ruled out that the stolen laptops may be containing important information which may include the voters roll, a document which will be at the centre of polling on August 23.

If Zec had been transparent from the word go and openly shared everything it was doing with stakeholders, we would not be worried because everything would have been in the public domain.

However, because there have been heated controversy over many issues pertaining to processes leading to the August polls, it is now anyone’s guess as to what this break-in entails.

Many will be forgiven for pondering over the security of their vote after casting their ballots on August 23, when thieves can break into a heavily-guarded building and walk away with vital equipment which may be pivotal to the country’s general elections.

Whatever the conclusion of the investigation into the break-in will reveal, it will not erase the doubts lingering in our minds as far as the credibility of this election is concerned.