The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced its preparedness to conduct free and credible elections scheduled for next Wednesday, with most logistical arrangements already in place. This statement was made by the Chairperson of the electoral body, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, during an elections observer and media briefing held in Harare yesterday in anticipation of the harmonized elections on August 23.
The briefing was attended by former Mozambican President, Mr Joachim Chissano, and the head of the Sadc Observer Mission and former Zambian vice president, Mr Nevers Mumba.
Justice Chigumba emphasized that ZEC is an independent body and not influenced by the government, organizations, or individuals. She expressed gratitude to the police for their assistance in the delivery of 80 percent of the essential electoral materials to provinces under police escort. Justice Chigumba also acknowledged the Ministry of Finance for funding almost 100 percent of their requirements.
Assuring the public, Justice Chigumba stated, “The Commission is ready to conduct the 2023 harmonized elections…we have everything in place, be it legal, social, or any other requirement, and we are eager to conduct a free, fair, and credible election.”
ZEC has recruited approximately 150,000 electoral officers who will be deployed nationwide. They have also established 12,374 polling stations, and the official list of these stations will be published on August 23.
Justice Chigumba highlighted that all election contestants have been provided with copies of the voters’ roll as mandated by law. Contestants in local authorities’ elections received the ward voters’ roll, while those vying for National Assembly seats obtained the constituency voters’ roll. Presidential candidates were granted access to the national voters’ roll.
The Chairperson informed that 6,623,511 individuals have been registered to vote, but voting is not compulsory under Zimbabwean law. ZEC can only encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote.
As of August 14, ZEC had accredited 3,572 local observers, 136 foreign observers, 376 local journalists, and 15 foreign journalists.
During the briefing, the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Godwin Matanga, reported that the security situation in the country has remained peaceful and conducive to conducting free, fair, and credible elections, with only isolated incidents being reported.