Electoral Fraud Allegations and Detentions in Bié
By António Capalandanda:
UNITA is accusing the Provincial Electoral Commssion (CPE) in Bié of falsifying the consolidated results lists from polling stations and is contesting the provisional electoral results that give the MPLA a victory in the province, with 69.79 percent of votes. According to the provisional results, UNITA has 36.2 percent of the votes and CASA-CE has 0.98 percent.
The UNITA spokesman in Bié, Kanjomba Leite, told Maka Angola that five false results statements had been found at polling station 029 (Helena de Almeida neighbourhood), polling station 11 (Boa Vista neighbourhood) and in one of the polling stations in Kunje in the Kuito municipality.
In a letter to the Bié CPE, UNITA’s provincial secretary Elioty Ekolelo said that the statements of results from polling stations in Liwema, Njimba Silili, Ekovongo, Kamundongo and Tchikala, in the Kuito municipality, where UNITA has strong support, were not handed to the Municipal Electoral Commission. Copies of the original statements were, however, given to UNITA delegates.
Maka Angola has been trying unsuccessfully to obtain a comment from the chairman of the Bié CPE, Manuel Chimbinga Chanande.
Ekolelo is accusing the municipal administrator and first secretary of the MPLA in Kuito, Moisés Américo Kaciako, of taking eight boxes full of marked ballots from his party headquarters to voting stations on the evening of August 31, 2012.
Attempts to obtain comment from Kaciako on the allegations were also unsuccessful.
Ekolelo alleges that about 2,500 UNITA activists in the villages of Embala Etalala, Kalele, Kanata, Kaneketela, Tchifeka, Kamela and Musungu, in Kambândua commune, Kuito municipality, did not vote. Information gathered there confirms that their names were not on the electoral roll, and in a few cases, the names had been transferred to other voting stations.
Ekolelo also alleges that in Catabola municipality, UNITA voters were left off the electoral roll in the villages of Avila, Embala Etunda, Etunda loja, Nganjela and Saningi, despite having up-to-date voters’ cards.
Kanjomba Leite added that in the communes of Cutato and Cangote in Chinguar municipality, people voted without electoral rolls and each voter confirmed his or her name on a hand-written list posted at the polling station. He also said that his party had in its possession seven unused electoral rolls, three of which had been found in the home of the chief of Sandjavite village in Cutato, Félix Venâncio Aspirante. The unused rolls contain the names of 3,000 voters.
Leite revealed that the National Police detained three UNITA activists in Cutato commune on September 3 while they were conducting a survey of UNITA activists who had voted and enquiring into the problems with the electoral rolls. Those detained are António Kacope, the Cutato communal secretary, Paulo Josias, the organising secretary, and activist Constantino Seca.
Leite said the men were detained because “they were collecting copies of the voters’ cards of UNITA activists who were unable to vote, so as to be able to file a complaint later”.
He added that the three were later transferred from the local police station to the cells at the municipal police command, in the presence of the commander of the National Police in Chinguar municipality, João Batista Samandele.
The vice-governor of Bié for Political Affairs, Carlos Ulombe, stated he had no knowledge of the men’s detention or the accusations of fraud. He referred these questions to the provincial command of the National Police.
The spokesman for the provincial police command, António Hossi, is travelling and promised to make a statement on September 5. CPE spokeswoman Maria Madalena promised an official statement would be issued the following day.
With Bié correspondent Edú Wãngo