Thandeka Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) website was yesterday temporarily shut down after unknown hackers posted images of the MDC Alliance-fuelled mayhem in Harare on it to replace official communication from the electoral body.
The hackers allegedly tampered with official 2018 Harmonised Election results which were on the website and posted controversial updates.
Zec commissioner in charge of public liaison Dr Qhubani Moyo yesterday confirmed that the organisation had pulled down the website 11 minutes after realising that some ‘foreign’ pictures were being posted.
He also said the Zec technical team was working tirelessly to restore the website. By time of going to press <http://www.zec.org.zw/> had been restored.
“Yesterday some hackers attacked our website and posted some pictures that were not from Zec. At exactly 11 minutes from the development, we decided to pull down the website so that we avoid spreading false hoods that were being spread by hackers on the Zec website,” said Dr Moyo.
“We are working on reconstructing it and this time it will be more secure. I don’t know why they did it and I will not get deeper into how we will secure it and it is safer to say it will be up soon”.
Dr Moyo said Zec is seized with the matter and investigations are under way.
“Our technical teams are seized with the matter and they are investigating so we find out what really happened. We’ll also trace where the hackers originate from so we catch the political criminal elements,” he said.
Dr Moyo said the intention of the hackers was to destabilise the smooth running of the election programme and urged people to be responsible in what they circulate on social media as it has a bearing on stability. “We want to urge our people to be very patient during these delicate times and rely on information from the commission regarding the 2018 harmonised elections,” he said.
“They should not rely on any other information that is not official. They should also stop spreading unverified information that creates anxiety.”
The MDC Alliance’s propensity for violence came to the fore on Wednesday after its supporters went on a rampage destroying property, torching vehicles, blocking roads and attacking pedestrians in Harare’s Central Business District.
Some pedestrians were robbed of their possessions. The rowdy supporters went into the streets around 10AM and continued disturbing the peace into the afternoon.
Police tried to control them but failed due to their depleted manpower as a result of elections deployment. The army had to be called in to assist the police. — @thamamoe