Zec in a server storm – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Mangwana Jasper

The embattled Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is once again entangled in a rigging storm amid allegations by some data experts that the electoral body’s servers are hosted by Africom, a company believed to be owned by the military .

Fernhaven Investments (Private) Limited, a Zimbabwe Defense Force investment vehicle, would be Africom’s majority shareholder.

This added to a myriad of other complaints about how Zec administers the elections, with opposition parties complaining recently that they had not received voter lists for the March 26 by-elections, while Zanu PF would have received the electoral list which was in color and with photos.

Zec denied the allegation that Africom, a leading converged communications service provider, was hosting its servers.

However, the election management body failed to prove it had another host. “Zec does not have any servers hosted by any outside organization, including Africom,” Zec spokesman Jasper Mangwana said. NewsDay yesterday.

But data experts Team Pachedu insisted there was overwhelming evidence that the Zec servers were hosted by Africom.

“When the Zec website was hacked on August 1, 2018, forensic experts investigated. They discovered that Zec was hosted on an Africom server, IP, sharing hosting with other sites like netguardsec.com. Shared hosting means the server was not in Zec,” the Pachedu team said.

“The website was hastily developed by Africom and uploaded to the Africom domain zec.org.zwnot the usual government zec.gov.zw. The code used by Africom was recycled and had major security flaws. It made hacking easy.

“The same shared server that Africom hosted the Zec site in 2018, is the same server that was used by the subdomain that was just deleted formation.zec.org.zw. This server currently hosts 54 websites, confirming that Zec does not host it, but Africom does.

Army spokesman Colonel Alphios Makotore dismissed allegations that the army does not hold elections.

“Talk to Zec, the army does not organize elections in Zimbabwe. You called the wrong place. I don’t work at Zec or Africom,” Makotore said.

Africom numbers listed were not going through yesterday.

Exiled former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, in his book Excelgate: How Zimbabwe’s 2018 presidential election was stolenclaimed that the “brazen operation to audaciously rig the result” was carried out by looting the Zec election server and “inventing an illegal route and destination for the collection, compilation and transmission of [presidential] result, thanks to an operational link with Africom for the networking and maintenance of the servers”.

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