Zimbabwe has one of the most transparent voting processes in the world, if all parties are alert, “rigging” can only happen outside the polling station by way of disrupting political opponents.

Here are the facts of the actual voting process:

Voting is polling station based. Ballot boxes transparent. Each candidate is allowed 2 agents at any polling station. On election day, the agent counts number of people that come in to vote.

At close of voting, presiding officer and agents gather to confirm the ballots cast In presence of agents, the count itself first confirms number of ballots cast. Then valid votes are counted, spoilt ballots ejected by consent. Ballots are then separated by candidate. Then counted for each candidate.

And then counted again until everyone satisfied When the results are confirmed, presiding officer enters them into a form called V11. Agents sign this form to confirm the figures.

Then the V11 is posted outside the polling station. If you timely get all the V11s, you can do parallel voter tabulation and know the result That said, there are issues around postal ballots from embassies abroad, allegations of security services personnel voting under supervision in camps and assisted voting for the elderly.

There have been allegations that assisted voting is being abused in some rural communities where voters, because they are known locally to the polling agent, are told to always ask for assistance – even when they don’t require it – to intimidate them into voting one way Even then, a voter who chooses assisted voting does so under watchful eye of agents from all the parties, although they get the actual assistance from a ZEC officer.

A political party or candidate participating in an election in Zimbabwe must have agents at all polling stations, and must have the V11s. With those, it is close to impossible to rig the count although it is also true elections can be manipulated AWAY FROM THE VOTING BOOTH.