After helplessly watching a chaotic mobile voter registration exercise that was characterised by a miserly turnout ZEC, the body in charge of all electoral processes, asked for prayers from the church to ensure a smooth sailing as the country plunges into elections.

Speaking to members of the church recently, Makarau said although Zimbabwe held a peaceful referendum in May, tempers are likely to flare during the road to a crunch election billed as the most
important since the country attained its independence from Britain in 1980.

 “We ask you to pray for us as we prepare for elections. We have had a peaceful referendum and it was because of your prayers. Now as we go to elections we need you to pray for our leaders and continue
preaching peace so as to avoid violence. We are going to be referees and tempers are going to be paper thin we need wisdom to monitor this process,” said Makarau.

Past elections in Zimbabwe have been characterised by violence and in 2008 the process was derailed by widespread violence and intimidation that led to the deaths of nearly 200 people according to the MDC and civic rights organisations.

Although President Robert Mugabe and his coalition partner Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have been preaching peace, there are already some disturbing incidences of violence.

With Mugabe and his supporters already spoiling for elections and some sections of the media going into overdrive fanning up emotions, the ZEC boss said there is need for the “grace of God” since elections” are a very sensitive process.

Joyce Kazembe, ZEC deputy chairperson, said there is need for the country to move from hoping for a credible election to a fulfillment of that hope.

“Taking into account financial constraints it would be foolhardy for anyone to announce dates for polls without providing the prerequisite envelope,” said Makarau.

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