Chamisa’s CCC cries foul over ballot paper design

Chamisa Mnangagwa

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has raised concerns about the design and printing process of the ballot paper for the upcoming elections.

CCC deputy secretary for elections, Ellen Shiriyedenga, said that the party was not consulted about the printing of the ballot paper, as required by law.

“The fact that the postal voting has commenced means that the ballot paper is out, of concern to us as the CCC is that contrary to section 52 of the Electoral Act, we as the stakeholders particularly the political parties contesting in this election, we were supposed to be informed with respect to the ballot paper as to who is responsible for printing it, the quantities,” she said.

She also said that the ballot paper that is circulating on social media is not in accordance with the law, as it is not in alphabetical order and puts the name of the incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the top of the second column.

“The ballot paper itself, the design, the law is clear when it comes to that, the ballot paper should be designed and the names arranged in a single file in alphabetic order but the ballot paper which is in circulation it’s in two columns, clearly a way of igniting the profile of Mr Mnangagwa.”

Shiriyedenga said the information is shrouded in secrecy, “worse off now, we get to hear that the ballot paper is out there and is a cause of concern for stakeholders.”

She said in the previous elections, including the last by-elections of March 2022, the candidates were given the opportunity to go and inspect the ballot paper.

“But this time around nothing of that sort was made. The only sample of ballot paper we have is the one circulating on social media and that is a cause of concern, we can’t be updated via social media as the political parties because we feel we are very key stakeholders in this electoral process,” said Shiriyedenga.

She added that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should give the stakeholders an opportunity to inspect the ballot paper.

“Looking at the social media reports and the picture of the ballot that we saw, it’s a cause of concern, that is if that is the actual ballot paper that we are going to use on election day. The burden of proof now lies with ZEC to give the stakeholders the opportunity to inspect the ballot paper.”

She said ZEC has repeated the same mistake which occurred in 2018 and it is a breach of law.

“If you can recall in 2018 we had a similar concern with 23 candidates that participated in the election, we said well the law was breached, probably ZEC was overwhelmed by the number of presidential candidates which were 23 then but this time around we only had 11 but ZEC goes on to repeat the same two columns so clearly we know why that is being done, clearly to profile Mnangagwa and we are worried as CCC in terms of the breach of the law,” said Shiriyedenga.

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