Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it still printing ballot papers, approves 17 000 for postal voting 

Chamisa Mnangagwa

THE ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is still in the process of finalizing the printing of ballot papers, with less than a week for the country to hold general elections.

This comes as ZEC has come under scrutiny over alleged ballot paper samples that circulated on social media platforms recently.

The ballot papers have been a point of contention from the opposition which says it has been excluded from the process by the electoral body.

Addressing election observers yesterday in Harare, ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, without disclosing who is printing the ballot papers said they would be ready on August 19 – four days before the plebiscite.

“The Commission, it must be noted, is given exclusive mandate in terms of the constitution. At the moment we are finalising the printing of ballot papers and we are preparing to distribute them to the provinces.

“The Commission will in due course inform the general public and other stakeholders of where and by whom the ballot papers for the election have been supplied, printed and as well as the total number of ballot papers that have been printed in respect of each polling station and how they will be distributed,” said Chigumba.

ZEC had been forced to delay the printing of ballot papers owing to a number of court challenges that had been mounted contesting the decisions made by the nomination court.

Presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere and the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) have been in and out of court as they fought to be on the ballot.

Meanwhile, ZEC says it has approved 17 000 postal voters out of the 18 000 that had applied with the election mother body.

Postal votes are open to those on government business on the day of the plebiscite including police officers.

ZEC is also in the middle of a political storm after the opposition accused it of clandestinely overseeing the voting of police officers, an allegation it has refuted.

“For postal voting, we received slightly over 18 000 applications and out of those we had 17 000 that were successful. The rest were not successful,” said ZEC chief executive officer Utoile Silaigwana.


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