As Zimbabwe moves closer to the August 23, 2023 harmonised elections, the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) says it has secured most of the necessary election materials.
In an interview, ZEC deputy chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said ballot papers, ink and stationery had been procured. An accreditation committee comprising other government arms is also being put together.
All ZEC commissioners except the chairperson and deputy chairperson are working full-time at the commission’s head office for the next six months to prepare for the elections. Ambassador Kiwa stressed that ZEC is well-resourced and ready to hold credible elections.
He said the commissioners have united and put aside previous disagreements. The Vice President intervened and urged them to focus on the bigger picture for Zimbabwe.
“We have found ourselves. Our commissioners are part-time except the chair and deputy. When there are no electoral activities they will be away. But starting today and for the next six months they will be full-time at Zec, they have found each other.
“The Vice President (Dr Constantino Chiwenga) played a key role in making us find each other. I am pleased with the way we are now engaging each other. In fact, we had a productive meeting in Bulawayo a few weeks ago
“The Vice President called us and told us to look at the bigger picture, Zimbabwe is bigger than all of us and we took his advice. I can authoritatively say there is no divided Zec,” said Ambassador Kiwa.
Ambassador Kiwa dismissed reports of some voters having their constituencies or polling stations changed, saying such changes are normal after boundary delimitation. However, he assured that no voter will have to travel more than 5km to vote.
ZEC will embark on a massive voter education program involving various stakeholders. An accreditation committee for foreign observers is also being formed comprising representatives from different government ministries.
Ambassador Kiwa urged all Zimbabweans to work together to ensure peaceful and credible elections. Presidential aspirants will need to be nominated by at least 10 registered voters from each province while parliamentary and local candidates require 5 nominations. Nomination fees are $20,000 for presidential, $1,000 for parliamentary and $200 for party list candidates.